10 tips for safely delivering goods and materials

Apr 08, 2015

Working in traffic"Non-routine work such as making deliveries to new locations can often be high risk," warns Janet Bewers, a WSPS business developer. "Lack of familiarity with the location is just one risk. Other variables include heavy traffic and poor weather conditions."

If you're making repeat deliveries or working on a landscaping project for days or weeks, you may face different site-specific hazards each day. "Keep your people safe and your customers happy by preparing a delivery or jobsite plan in advance," says Bewers.

"Ontario Traffic Manual Book 7 - Temporary Conditions and TCP in Construction 1 is an essential starting point," says Bewers. Although designed for traffic control in temporary construction zones affecting public roads, it contains useful tips and diagrams on setting up traffic control devices.

Building the following considerations into your delivery or jobsite plan will help you anticipate hazards and minimize risk. Treat the plan as a living document, so that you can continue anticipating and avoiding hazards as circumstances change.

  1. Figure out what vehicle(s) you need, taking into account unloading requirements and possible restrictions on the type or size of vehicle the site can safely handle. Use the smallest possible delivery vehicle.
  2. Check with the delivery location on any timing restrictions regarding loading or unloading goods or equipment.
  3. Identify the best routes to the site, taking into account one-way or narrow roads, low bridges, tight curves, overhead power lines, parking restrictions, etc. Also, reduce left-hand turns at intersections.
  4. Decide where to park your vehicle(s) safety and without inconveniencing other drivers, residents, pedestrians, etc. Aim for locations where unloading can take place off the road and away from passers-by.
  5. Assemble any procedures the driver and other employees must follow, such as
    • completing simple delivery safety checklists
    • (un)loading. Identify the equipment required, lifting capacity, safe practices, etc.
    • wearing personal protective equipment (high visibility clothing, gloves, footwear, etc.)
    • observing fall prevention measures
    • safe reversing, with guidance from traffic signaling colleagues
    • reporting vehicle accidents, near-misses and other safety concerns.
  6. Sketch a site plan or sketch showing parking, route to take through the site, safe unloading or loading zone, etc. and share with the person responsible for managing the delivery.
  7. Provide next steps for the driver(s) and site staff if they are dissatisfied with safety arrangements at the site (e.g., who to report concerns to).
  8. Load the vehicle(s) so that safety gear is readily accessible, such as the right traffic pylons for the roadway and traffic speed, traffic control signs, safety vests, protective head gear, etc.
  9. Ensure all workers involved in loading and unloading have been trained on safe practices, including traffic management if required.
  10. Go over the delivery plan with affected employees before the end of the previous day, and make clear who's in charge.

Improve your team's safety performance with these WSPS resources

Download at no cost these WSPS resources and more

  • Health and Safety Guidelines for Agriculture, Horticulture and Landscape Employers and Employees
  • Using Backhoes or Loaders
  • Using Landscaping Equipment

Also check out Landscape Ontario Workplace Safety Tailgate Talks for the Landscaping Industry.

Sign your employees up for these safe driving training opportunities:

  • Safe Driving: Backing Up (e-course)
  • Certification Part Two: Driving Hazards

1 Provisions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and construction regulations for traffic control and worker protection require employers to train workers exposed to traffic hazards or construction vehicles, and to develop traffic protection plans for workers who may be exposed to traffic and vehicular hazard. Find out more about these provisions in Book 7.