Introduction to this document

Loading goods into cars

Loading the boot of a car or other vehicle is a task regularly carried out but seldom thought through - even though there are potential manual handling risks associated with it.

Loading up

Whether it is the “on the road” office, e.g. laptop, multi-media projector, files etc. or that small delivery of goods urgently required by a customer, if handled incorrectly, the result could be severe back pain. Thinking of the risks involved is not something that we normally do until it is too late.

To ensure this type of injury doesn’t happen, you should complete a risk assessment for your specific activities, which identifies all “significant” hazards and appropriate “reasonable” ways of reducing risks to an acceptable level.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with loading goods into the boots of cars or the rear of estate vehicles and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Loading Goods into Cars. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and then suggests control measures to reduce the risks to an acceptable level.

Note. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 apply to all lifting and handling operations and require you to carry out a risk assessment for these activities.

You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could, and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”.  

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found in your workplace.