Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Car Transporter Incidents Subject to New Report but More Input Always Needed

Finished Vehicle Logistics Representatives Issue Health and Safety Statistics
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – Much as the P&I groups are always keen to dish out safety advice to their members in the shipping sector, so too is the Association of European Vehicle Logistics (ECG), the body charged with looking out for the interests of the Finished Vehicle Logistics industry in Europe.

The Association has recently presented the findings of its Health & Safety Working Group 2020 incident reporting activity about the dangers of loading and unloading car transporters. The report entitled ‘Making the industry Safer - Reducing accidents in FVL, 2020 incidents & analysis’ is the result of an extensive survey aimed at improving Health & Safety in the sector, specifically in road transport. It is the second report produced by ECG on this topic, the first one on 2019 incidents was published in October 2020.

The paper focuses on accidents or occurrences which had a high potential to result in a significant accident and which occurred during loading and unloading operations on car transporters. The aim of these reports is to promote industry-wide knowledge about the most common accidents and to enhance prevention through useful recommendations.

Such accidents can present physical danger, not only to the vehicles but sometimes to the operators involved. Through its online incident reporting website the association collected anonymised incident reports from members and categorised the incidents in ‘slips and trips’, ‘roll-offs’ and ‘falls from height’. It was found that most accidents are avoidable if drivers follow safety procedures correctly.

Speaking to a large audience at a webinar to present the report, co-chair of the working group and general manager for vehicle logistics at Toyota Motor Europe, Steve Thomas, was pleased to report an improvement in responses, commenting:

“I am very excited that we had the first report last year and again we are able to issue a new report this year. Strangely for safety it’s good to say the statistics are increasing because we are now getting a better understanding of where the industry is in this critical area of safety.”

A total of 136 incidents were uploaded to the database in 2020 for analysis, marking an increase from the 85 uploaded last year. Trends of 2019 are confirmed in the analysis of 2020 incidents highlighting once again the importance of training drivers according to the Guidelines on safe loading process developed by the Health & Safety Working Group. These are available now in 12 languages.

ECG is calling once again on the vehicle logistics industry to submit as many reports as possible, including near misses that almost led to a serious accident and ‘especially serious accidents’ as Mike Sturgeon stated during the webinar. All Logistics Service Providers (LSPs), compound and terminal operators, including car manufacturers, are invited to contribute to the report. Confidentiality and anonymity of all data is guaranteed.

ECG Members provides transport, distribution, storage, preparation and post-production services to manufacturers, importers, car rental companies and vehicle leasing operators across the EU as well as in Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and beyond. These own or operate more than 380 car-carrying ships, 14,900 purpose-built railway wagons, 28 river barges and more than 27,800 road transporters.