Mantra Learning News

11 Mar 20

Diesel spillages affect us all

Sharing best practice and improving driver and operator knowledge will work towards reducing the number of incidents and risk.

In 2018, Highways England recorded 314 diesel spillages involving HGVs, causing a range of events including journey time delays, risk to life and environmental issues. From a study of these types of incidents we found: 

  • 41% of incidents were estimated to be 2 hours or less  
  • 14% of incidents were between 2-5 hours   
  • 22% of incidents were over 5 hours

Diesel left on the road surface for as little as 2 hours leads to structural damage, resulting in the need for resurfacing.  The cost can be around £540,000 for a 4-hour delay on a busy route. 

Drivers can improve safety and prevent spillages by: 

  • carrying out daily walk-around checks of their vehicle to prevent spillages 
  • ensuring they're aware of environmental risks associated with diesel spillages  
  • improving their awareness of penalty notices and fines  
  • having an understanding of their diesel spill response plan and, where fitted, using a spill kit.
  • ensuring the filler cap is not damaged and is fully secure
  • making sure they are within driver's hours and not driving tired

Operators also have responsibility to prevent diesel spillages by: 

  • avoiding DVSA prohibitions (vehicle immobilisations) and other potential penalties
  • not increasing insurance premiums 
  • reducing loss of vehicle, fuel and driver time.

 There are additional safety measures available to them to prevent spillages such as: 

  • fitting fuel caps with anti–syphon devices and self-sealing tanks
  • installing guard rails to the sides and extended cat walks on the top of the fuel tank for protection 
  • carrying spill kits (comprising of booms, mats, sealant putty and portable containers)
  • not filling the tank right up to the filler cap  

Sharing best practice and improving driver and operator knowledge will work towards reducing the number of incidents and risk.

Source Highways England

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