Managing a Weighbridge Site Traffic Plan
It’s a legal requirement for most sites that operate heavy vehicles to be highly organised. This involves route planning, traffic management and training. Whether you’re discovering a need for traffic management on site or are trying to integrate a new weighbridge into an existing plan, it’s important to understand how a weighbridge will affect your site’s traffic management.
There are many aspects covered in a site traffic plan, many of which are affected by a weighbridge. The key issues which a site traffic plan deals with are:
- Keeping pedestrians and vehicles apart
- Minimising vehicle movements
- People on site
- Turning Vehicles
KEEPING PEDESTRIANS AND VEHICLES APART
This can be affected in many ways by the installation of a weighbridge. Where a weighbridge is usually placed near the entrance / exit of a site to measure the input and output, this will naturally affect foot traffic. Most on-site accidents result from the inadequate separation of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
A weighbridge is a long roadway, once you consider the length of the bridge and queueing vehicles. Read here to find out how much room you need for a weighbridge. This will, more than likely interfere with other traffic on the site. Ensure that pedestrians are given routes which allow them to stay away from heavy vehicles.
MINIMISING VEHICLE MOVEMENTS
Minimising the movements of vehicles is a key component to reducing traffic related injuries and incidents on site. The closer the destination, the less traffic must move.
However, it’s not a case of simply moving things closer, as this increases the traffic in the local area, and may not even be possible with your site’s lay out.
In the instance of a weighbridge, if it’s necessary for a vehicle to traverse a the weighbridge upon entry, the weighbridge should be placed near the entrance.
Having traffic move across the site before they use the weighbridge is unnecessary traffic movement which increases risks.
PEOPLE ON SITE
The best method of ensuring that people on-site are safe, is to ensure they have the necessary education. This could be as small as ensuring there’s clear and concise signage (or instruction) for new drivers on the site, through to checking competency when hiring and providing training to ensure that all staff is of the minimum required standard.
Ensure that only those that are trained and competent are driving vehicles on site, including onto and off your weighbridge platform.
Turning vehicles are a big risk on sites. This is when a large vehicle is most at risk of colliding with the vulnerable. A designated turning circle should be allocated, clear from any thoroughfare or pedestrian traffic. This allows a HGV to turn without risk of collision. This turning area should be one way and large enough so that a vehicle can turn without reversing.
Whilst a weighbridge is often a “through” device, they are occasionally placed as a “drive on, reverse off” device. This increases the risks of incidents, due to poor visibility when reversing. Ensure that this traffic is managed effectively, with at least 1 on-duty member of staff directing traffic and pedestrians at all times.
Those that are on site, should wear the correct PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), this can range from hi-vis clothing, through to hard hats, gloves and boots, depending on the type of site. The important part is that all staff are as visible as possible, to reduce the risks of on-site collisions.
Furthermore, vehicles on site should be equipped to ensure optimal visibility around the vehicle. This may include mirrors, cameras for the driver, and audible alarms to alert surrounding pedestrians of the vehicles movements.
The site should be well lit, to ensure that, during low light and visibility, pedestrians can be seen without a reliance on a vehicles lighting.
For more information on site traffic plans and how they may be affected by the introduction of a weighbridge, take a look at HSE’s Traffic Management section.
Once you’ve fully acquainted yourself with the ramifications, request a tailored quote for one of our weighbridges and get your business started.