Mayor sets new safety standards

By Andy Stewart
Photography David Humphries

A new voluntary code governing the operation of construction vehicles in London has been launched by city mayor Boris Johnson. The Standard for Construction Logistics: Managing work related road risks (WRRR) has been put together by Transport for London with help from the Health & Safety Executive, and has been endorsed by a number of construction companies operating in the capital.

The standards were primarily drawn up to extend on-site safety practices to cover the entire construction process, which includes the transportation of materials to and from building sites.

The document sets out a number of mandatory requirements for ‘fleet operators’, which are described as ‘any organisation or part thereof which operates one or more vehicles’. Under the new rules, fleet operators must:
– Ensure their transport operations adhere to a minimum standard of compliance as set out by an independent fleet management audit
– Capture, investigate and analyse information relating to collisions that result in injury or damage
– Ensure construction vehicles stick to specified routes (unless directed otherwise)
– Ensure all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes carry prominent warning signage
– Fit sideguards to all rigid mixer, tipper and waste-type vehicles over 3.5 tonnes that are currently exempt from fitment
– Reduce front, rear and side blindspots on vehicles over 3.5 tonnes “as far as is practical and possible”
– Fit trucks over 3.5 tonnes with alarms warning other road users when the vehicle is turning left
– Ensure all drivers (including those exempt from Driver CPC) undergo approved progressive training covering the safety of vulnerable road users.

The new rules also specify construction companies must ensure vehicles are loaded and unloaded on-site as far as is practicable, and consider moving deliveries to off-peak hours.

During a speech at a Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety event at City Hall on December 9, mayor Johnson said: “I’m very grateful to all those from the industry who pledged to help us tackle the issue [of road safety], and the new construction standard we are launching is a real step forward and will help save vulnerable users from harm.”