22 June 2022
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) continues to provide the industry with targeted regulatory guidance in the form of its series of ‘regulatory advice’ guidance notes.
In the last two months, the NHVR has released two regulatory advices on the risks arising in the construction sector and one on managing the risks of time slot booking, which we consider here.
One of the questions that comes up time and time again when we are working with businesses to improve their Chain of Responsibility risk management practices is, "can I impose scheduled pick-up or delivery times?"
Scheduled time slots assist consignors, consignees and operators of distribution centres and warehouses with their planning and traffic/queue management. They also assist transport operators, providing them with greater assurance that they will be loaded or unloaded without delay if they arrive during their scheduled slot.
However, some transport operators push back on scheduled time slots, saying that they put undue pressure on drivers to cut corners to ensure that they don’t miss slots.
So, what is the answer? The answer is that the benefits of scheduled time slots can be achieved without unintended adverse consequences, and the risks and hazards associated with time slots are mapped out and addressed at the outset.
The NHVR puts is best:
“The demand on drivers to meet time slots can have unintended consequences. They can feel pressured to drive when fatigued or exceed speed limits. Both behaviours create serious safety risks to drivers, other workers, road users and the community.
There are other risks associated with slot booking systems that can impact safety in and around the facility: queueing vehicles may lead to increased traffic and traffic congestion around the site; time constraints during loading can limit the chance for drivers or other workers to restrain and secure their load properly; and rushed unloading can compromise safe work practices.”
Poor time slot practices can have unintended negative impacts on fatigue, speeding, loading and traffic congestion and result in a greater risk of road accidents.
Responsibility to manage time slot bookings falls mainly on two parties in the Chain:
The regulatory advice includes a great table of suggested risk controls for both loading managers and transport operators or schedulers. Just a few of the suggestions include:
Transport operators or schedulers
If you have any questions, please contact us below or get in touch with our team here.
Author: Nathan Cecil
The information in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.