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(SHE) Safety Flash (FY21 008) – Loading Dock Safety – Red-Light Drive Off – Near Miss

No. 187/2021

7 May 2021

Our Ref: V4/21

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash (FY21 008) – Loading Dock Safety – Red-Light Drive Off – Near Miss:


All Royal Mail Group drivers who drive and operate a tail lift fitted vehicle.

Overview and Background:

Royal Mail Group Safety Health and Environment Group have issued ‘Safety Flash’, number FY21 008, (copy attached), which gives a summary of a recent near miss which could have led to a serious injury accident. The ‘Safety Flash’ is to form the basis of a Unit Briefing for ALL ROYAL MAIL DRIVERS operating large vehicles to and from ‘Traffic-Light’ controlled loading docks, in order to raise awareness of the potential risk of similar incidents which could cause a serious injury accident, involving falls from height whilst loading/unloading vehicles and trailers.


The ‘mandatory’ Safe System of Work (SSoW) was not followed by the driver concerned.

Description of the Incident:

The incident occurred when an agency driver reversed a Motive/Tractor Unit onto a loading bay to couple up/connect to a static trailer. Once coupled up the driver did not check the loading bay traffic lights and pulled forward off of the loading bay on a ‘red light’.

Fortunately, none of the loading dock staff were injured. The agency driver had been to the site on a number of previous occasions and was fully aware of the safe system of work traffic lights procedures that should be followed.

Impact and Effect:

Fall from height risks to loading bay staff entering and exiting the vehicle or trailer whilst loading/unloading containers, pallets or loose loaded items, possibly operating MHE.

Key Learning Points, Management Activities and Messages to Staff:

Where loading dock traffic lights are in use:

  • Green lights = vehicles can move on or off the loading dock.

  • Red Lights = no vehicle movements on or off the loading dock.

  • Ensure you are looking at the correct set of lights for the loading dock.

  • If no lights are showing report to a manager on site.

  • All drivers must adhere to the loading dock traffic light systems.

  • Vehicles must not drive off from a loading dock when a red light is displayed.

  • Drivers must complete the appropriate checks of trailers/rear of vehicles and ensure the dock leveller and loading dock doors are retracted and closed prior to departing.

  • Unit PIC to review current vehicle key control procedure to ensure robust controls.

  • Unit PIC to ensure that vehicle keys are not handed back to drivers unless dock levellers have been retracted and the bay doors closed.

  • Unit PIC to ensure Yard Rules have been cascaded/shared with all employees and are clearly displayed in key locations.

  • Unit PIC to deploy targeted SMATs to confirm the compliance to standards and procedures.

Key Management Activity:

  • Communicate and display the SHE Safety Flash on the SHE Notice board.

  • Brief drivers on Loading Dock Safety, Safe System of Work and the Loading Dock Traffic Light Safety System to all drivers operating large vehicles and trailers to and from traffic light controlled loading docks.


  • Copy of RMG SHE Safety Flash FY21 008 – Loading Dock Safety – Red-Light Drive Off – Near Miss

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

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