Being responsible for a heavy goods vehicle is a hazardous occupation, especially when handling and transporting dangerous goods. At Drive Personnel, we take the safety of our drivers very seriously and provide all of our HGV drivers with personal protective equipment to mitigate the risk of injury when necessary. 

What is PPE?

Personal protective equipment safeguards the user from health and safety risks at work. It can include protective clothing such as gloves as well as eye protection such as goggles. PPE can mitigate the risk of certain hazards which have been highlighted in health and safety risk assessments.

Even with other health and safety measures in place such as workplace health and safety training, PPE is essential in protecting employees from hazards which cannot be controlled further. For example, providing hard hats at a building site is still required even if workers have been trained how to correctly handle materials.

What types of PPE are there?

Drivers must take into consideration health and safety training and the use of PPE whilst conducting vehicle maintenance tests, loading and unloading the vehicle and when entering a warehouse.

When operating a heavy goods vehicle, some of the PPE which may be required includes:

  • High-visibility clothing
  • Safety footwear
  • Protective gloves

High-visibility clothing is essential for drivers working in areas with high volumes of traffic. Remaining visible in rest stops and warehouse yards helps to prevent accidents, especially in situations with low-lighting and/or low-visibility.

Safety footwear and protective gloves should be worn when drivers are loading and unloading vehicles to protect hands and feet from rough surfaces and falling objects.

Specialist loads including hazardous goods

Transport units carrying hazardous goods are required to carry additional PPE under ADR law. Transporting, loading and unloading dangerous freight increases the margin for error regarding health and safety.  Hazards which dangerous goods drivers may face include injuries to:

  • the lungs, from breathing in contaminated air
  • the head and feet, from falling materials
  • the eyes, from flying particles or splashes of corrosive liquids
  • the skin, from contact with corrosive materials

Drivers of HGVs carrying dangerous goods should be provided with adequate PPE to mitigate their risks dependent on the classification of their freight under ADR. This PPE includes:

  • Eye rinsing liquid
  • Warning vest
  • Protective gloves
  • Eye protection (googles)

Additionally, certain classes of dangerous goods will require an emergency escape mask.

Who is responsible for providing your PPE?

Transport units carrying hazardous goods are required to carry additional PPE under ADR law. Transporting, loading and unloading dangerous freight increases the margin for error regarding health and safety.  Hazards which dangerous goods drivers may face include injuries to:

  • the lungs, from breathing in contaminated air
  • the head and feet, from falling materials
  • the eyes, from flying particles or splashes of corrosive liquids
  • the skin, from contact with corrosive materials

Drivers of HGVs carrying dangerous goods should be provided with adequate PPE to mitigate their risks dependent on the classification of their freight under ADR. This PPE includes:

  • Eye rinsing liquid
  • Warning vest
  • Protective gloves
  • Eye protection (googles)

Additionally, certain classes of dangerous goods will require an emergency escape mask.

How effective is PPE?

Although the use of PPE is necessary for drivers, especially those handling dangerous goods, this safety equipment should never be used as a replacement for thorough training and a strong knowledge of your cargo. For more information on how to choose the correct PPE, visit Health & Safety Executive’s guide to PPE.

About us

Drive Personnel is a specialist driver recruitment agency offering employment opportunities for drivers across Southampton, Eastleigh, Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham. Our large portfolio of clients allows the opportunity for a range of roles that fit around your home and work life, offering great rates of pay and great flexibility. We know how important career progression is for drivers, and we love to support our workforce by offering training courses including Class 1, Moffett, HIAB and ADR to help you increase your earning potential. For more information on how Drive Personnel can help you progress in your career and provide access to exciting employment opportunities, call us on 023 8069 5600 or send us an email.