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Understanding Load Securement Regulations

When it comes to transport management, there’s nothing more important than ensuring that goods are safely secured when in transit. In this article, we look at load securement regulations, so that transport managers can better understand them.

The Importance of Load Securement

Gaining an understanding of load securement regulations and following them is important for a whole host of reasons. Let’s take a look at some of them now.

  • Safety – Obviously, if loads on the back of trucks aren’t properly fastened down in the right way, there’s an increased risk of goods shifting and even falling into the road and endangering other drivers.
  • Avoiding Penalties – Another important aspect for transport managers is the need to follow the rules to avoid incurring financial and legal penalties.
  • Efficiency – There’s also an increased likelihood that goods become damaged in transit when they’re not tied down like they should be, meaning that proper load securement makes your fleet more efficient.

The Key Regulations You Need to Be Aware Of

The Department for Transport (DfT) sets down primary guidelines with different requirements depending on the type of load and vehicle configuration. However, these are some of the basic rules you need to be aware of:

  • All loads need to be secured in way that ensures that goods aren’t allowed to shift or fall from the vehicle during transit.
  • The equipment used for securing loads need to be in good condition and meet the required standards.
  • In order to provide stability and prevent overloading, goods must be evenly distributed across the vehicle’s bed.

The Right Equipment for the Right Load

Each individual load will require a particular type of equipment to safely secure it for the journey it’s set to go on. The options available typically include blocks, chains, and straps, and it’s important to know which is appropriate for each situation – something we cover fully in another article “Equipment and Tools for Effective Load Securement.”

There are also other, specialised loads (hazardous or oversized) that have their own set of additional regulations. In these rules, the extra care these dangerous or challenging loads require is accounted for and we give you a full rundown of the subject in our “Compliance & Securement Techniques for Handling Specialised Loads” article.

Training & Awareness

Naturally, it’s vital for drivers and loading crews to be well-versed in all the latest techniques for secure loading. As such, you should provide them with regular training to reinforce their knowledge and understanding.

Another step you can take to boost awareness is to distribute learning materials that show precise details of both best practices and the regulations that must be followed.

Preparation For Load Securement Compliance Audits

Companies often make sure they’re complying with load securement regulations by conducting audits. Preparation for these audits – designed to check your processes are adequate for ensuring compliance – involves maintaining accurate records and training all personnel in what’s required.

You can find out more about this subject in our “What Managers Need to Know About Preparing for Load Securement Audits” article.

Understanding the Regulations is The First Step

If you want to run a safe, compliant fleet in terms of load securement regulations, the first step is to fully understand the rules. As such, transport managers need to familiarise themselves with the guidelines, prepare for audits and provide regular training for all personnel involved in this kind of operation.

After reading all of our articles relating to the equipment required and handling of specialised cargoes, as well as audit preparations, you’ll gain a solid foundation of knowledge on how to do things the right way, stay compliant and keep everyone safe.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

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