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What is a driver to do?

08 July 2010

Since the introduction of the Instructions in Writing (IIW) in the 2009 ADR, there has been some confusion on what a driver is to carry and what is he/she supposed to do in the event of an emergency.

Taking into account other legislation, such as HSWA and COSHH to name but two, the driver’s actions have been reduced to ensure their safety, but they still have to undertake duties to protect the public and the environment!

We hope the following will allow for some clarity on the issues, not only on the actions needed but also on the equipment on the vehicle.


These are to be provided by the Operator (Carrier), in a language that the driver can read and understand.  IIW’s can be downloaded if you follow the link on our website;

Actions by the driver

Follow the IIW’s.

Where safe and practicable to do so:
•    Apply handbrake, stop engine and isolate the battery
•    Avoid ignition sources (no smoking or electrical equipment)
•    Inform the Emergency Services, giving as much helpful info as they can
•    Put on the high visibility vest and place out warning triangles (could someone else do this for them, keeping them away from the affected area)
•    Keep hold of transport documents
•    Do not walk in or touch the spillage, avoid inhalation of fumes/dusts
•    Put out small vehicle fires
•    Use on board equipment to stop leaks getting into the sewers or rivers
•    Move away and keep people away
•    Remove and dispose of contaminated clothing
•    Follow the additional guidance in the tables for each class involved

Equipment on Vehicles

For all classes of dangerous goods
•    For each vehicle (so an articulated vehicle is 2 parts) a wheel chock
•    Two self standing warning signs
•    Eye rinsing liquid

For each crew member

•    A warning vest (make sure it meets EU standards)
•    Portable lighting apparatus (no metal surfaces)
•    Protective gloves
•    Eye Protection (goggles)

Additional equipment for certain classes

•    Emergency escape mask, when carrying classes 2.3 and or 6.1
•    A shovel, for classes 3, 4.1, 4.3, 8 and 9 (to make a dam using earth and sand)
•    A drain seal (for the same classes as the shovel) to prevent it going to the sewers
•    A collecting container made of plastic (bucket?)

This in real terms;  these basic actions mean the driver has to make the area as safe as possible and prevent contamination to the environment, only if it is safe to do so; then await the emergency services for the clean up to begin.

Of course, this is all set to change again next year!!!!

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