Safe coupling and uncoupling guide

Coupling

New guidance on the safe coupling, uncoupling and parking of commercial vehicles and trailers has just been published.

New guidance on the safe coupling, uncoupling and parking of commercial vehicles and trailers has just been published.

The Safe Coupling And Uncoupling Guide is intended to assist employers who control sites where coupling and uncoupling is undertaken by users of large goods vehicles, managers, self-employed drivers and driver training bodies.  

Produced by an industry working group, made up of members of the Transportation & Logistics Forum, which is chaired by the Health & Safety Executive, it has been developed as a good practice guide with the aim of reducing the likelihood of a runaway or rollaway incident.

In her introduction to the guide, Sarah Bell, the Traffic Commissioner representative on the Transportation & Logistics Forum, says:  “Tragically, each year there are a number of fatalities or serious injuries due to vehicle runaways or trailer rollaways.  The cause is often because the individual in charge mistakenly believes that all brakes are engaged when they are not.  This should not happen if simple procedures are followed.”

The guide includes practical information on how truck and trailer parking brake systems operate and step-by-step photographic sequences for the coupling and uncoupling procedures which should be adopted by drivers.  It is available free of charge at www.fta.co.uk/safe-coupling-guide.

“Research by the Health and Safety Laboratory suggests that many drivers do not understand how truck and trailer parking brakes operate, which is a key requirement in the coupling and uncoupling procedure,” Andy Mair, Head of Engineering at the Freight Transport Association, which was instrumental in producing the guide, said.  “The guide aims to address some of the common misunderstandings, includes a clear and understandable explanation, and shows that in most cases drivers incorrectly believe that disconnecting the coupling air lines applies the trailer parking brake.”