Engaging Our Hauliers

The 19th July saw the first of the Tilhill Forestry sponsored FISA SHAD (Safety Health Awareness Day) held at JST Services, Ayr

  • FISA SHADS have replaced the Tilhill Forestry Insist on Safety events but are run in the same spirit – to engage our contractors and hauliers in health, safety and environmental matters.

The decision was taken to focus on our haulage community as we had not engaged with them specifically for a number of years. The events will be run in a format where we will talk to drivers in the haulage yards rather than out the forest.

The first event covered a number of topics ranging from lessons learned from recent incidents to mental health. This month’s Safety and Assurance Bulletin provides an insight into each subject. We will be in touch with more of our hauliers to engage them in similar events in the coming months.

Lessons Learned

There has been an increase in haulage related incidents over the last 12 months with a number of RIDDOR reportable injuries including a fractured jaw and a broken leg. There has also been a number of vehicle overturns whilst driving on forest roads. Discussions surrounded the key lessons from these incidents and how they could be implemented by the drivers at the event.

       Learning Points  from Discussions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and ensure your footwear is always in good condition
  • Report all defects – this could be with roads or machinery
  • You must be trained and competent for the task in hand
  • Maintenance must be carried out in designated areas
  • Ensure you have the right equipment with you – spill kit, first aid kit etc.


  • Avoid work at height where you can
  • Do not forget that getting onto the bed of a lorry is considered to be working from height

Risk Assessments

What is a risk assessment? What should it cover? When should it be reviewed? These were just some of the key questions that were discussed. Control measures for driving on forest roads, loading and unloading, working in proximity to forest machinery and Overhead Powerlines were also reviewed.


  • Ensure you have a suitable risk assessment for the task
  • Review the risk assessment should conditions change e.g. the condition of the forest road

Be Prepared

Key equipment including first aid kit and spill kits, route planning and being ‘weather ready’ for hot and cold conditions were discussed.


  • Ensure you have the correct kit – This should include a spill kit, first aid kit and torch as a minimum
  • Plan the route and know your restrictions
  • Plan ahead and be prepared whatever the weather

Forest Operations

This section included a ‘test your knowledge’ quiz focussing on machinery risk zones.


  • Forest machinery all have their own risk zones and it is important to know these as a haulage driver
  • HGVs loading/unloading timber also have their own risk zones
  • Overhead Powerlines (OHPLs) will be marked by goalposts on forest roads at the work site but not necessarily on access roads and public road
  • Never load timber near an OHPL or adjust your load using the crane outwith the work site

Timber Stacks

Timber stack security and HGV driver responsibilities were an important topics covered during the SHAD.


  • Different people have different responsibilities regarding timber stacks
  • FWM responsibilities include ensuring the stack is positioned safely and that felling operations are a safe distance away from the stacking Timber stacks must be maintained in a safe and stable condition
  • Haulage driver responsibilities include picking up the logs methodically from one end, leaving the stack stable after loading and reporting any concerns that may arises

Load Security

This section included a review of a loaded trailer where some deliberate mistakes were made to see if drivers could spot them.


  • You must ensure you have the right equipment to secure your load – bolster pins, straps etc.
  • Your load is your responsibility.
  • Follow the safe strapping guidance from the Haulage of Roundwood Code of Conduct

Mill Deliveries

This section was provided by the Environmental, Safety and Health (ESH) team at BSW where they set the standards they expect for safe delivery. We also discussed recent near miss events and the lessons to be taken from these.


  • Ensure you know the safe system of work and traffic management plan for the site
  • Remember when you leave the cab of your vehicle you become a Ensure you keep to safe areas and have the correct PPE, including Hi-Viz.
  • Follow the instructions being given by log yard staff

Health and Mental Health

This section included guidance on looking after drivers’ health and looked at the importance of healthy eating and exercise. The mental health section covered key warning signs of mental health illness and advice on what to do.

      Learning Points from Discussions:

  • It is important to look after your health and mental health
  • Try to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your lifestyle
  • If you are struggling with mental health, talk to someone – help is available


Overall the event was enjoyed by everyone who attended and is also the first step in the development in forest haulage CPC training for timber HGV drivers (Certificate of Professional Competence).

The Tilhill Forestry Safety and Assurance team would like to thank JST for their support of this event and look forward to working with them to continue to improve the health, safety and welfare of the haulage community.