Spot checks on hundreds of vehicles will take place in the coming weeks in support of a new drive to ensure that loads are being transported securely.

The Health and Safety Executive's new load safety campaign is focused on reducing the number of death and injuries linked to workplace transport.

Loading and unloading accounts for one in five workplace transport incidents- many resulting from loads not being properly restrained.

Unsafe loads on vehicles injure more than 1,200 people a year and cost UK businesses millions of pounds in damaged goods.

There will be eight days of spot checks at locations across the North West, with officers from HSE and the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) inspecting the loads of vehicles that have been pulled over at random.

Similar spot checks took place in April last year with close to 80 per cent of loads found not to be sufficiently restrained.

Drivers/businesses who are found to have unsafe loads face fines or even risk having their vehicle ordered off the road.

Peter Brown from HSE said: "There is absolutely no excuse for unsafe loads. We hear from drivers that they were only 'going down the road' or 'they were running late' but these just won't wash, not when people's health or lives are at risk.

"Vehicles are at risk of overturning if a load moves and makes them unstable.

"Materials falling from vehicles pose a danger to other road users as well as causing annoying traffic disruption. Apart from this, there is the cost to business of a lost or damaged load.

"Take those few extra minutes to secure your loads or at best you could face a fine or, at worst, risk death or injury to your self or others.

For more information visit www.hse.gov.uk/loadsafety[2]