Ensuring that all items to be transported are firmly and securely restrained helps to secure the safety of the driver, pedestrians and other vehicles, as well as contributing to smooth traffic flow.
The key principle behind well-restrained vehicles is that an unmoving, well-placed load will not adversely affect anyone.
Transporting radiation sources – before the journey
Actions taken before starting your journey can be the most important. Good preparation will determine the safety of the trip.
Before securing a load, consider:
- the roads that will be travelled on (unsurfaced roads are more hazardous)
- how large the load is (the size of the load dictates how easy it is to restrain)
- the kind of vehicle to be used (it is more difficult to restrain a small load in a large vehicle and vice-versa).
Making allowance for these factors helps to determine the correct type and number of restraints required to secure the load safely. It is always better to be over-cautious, as unknown factors (such as sudden changes in travel speed, and airflow through and around the vehicle) will also affect the security of the items being transported.
Transporting radiation sources – general principles for securing a load
Before travelling, note the following principles:
- Ensure that the vehicle chosen is big enough to safely carry the load, while being mindful that a small load in a large vehicle can often be cumbersome.
- Make certain that enough strapping is used to bed down the load so that it does not move around loosely and has no way to slip out or off the vehicle.
- Check that the load has not been placed in a way that makes the vehicle unstable or unbalanced. An unbalanced cargo will not only affect the steering and general performance of the vehicle, but may also tip the vehicle over.
- Ensure any small items are securely contained, as they can easily become missiles during emergency braking.
Transporting radiation sources – during the journey
There are a number of things to remember during the journey:
- Remember that the size, height and position of the load will affect the handling of your vehicle.
- Check the lashings and restraints in mirrors regularly to make sure they have not come loose. It is often a good idea to check the load shortly after the beginning of the journey, as the load-settling process often loosens during this time.
- Avoid sudden braking and accelerating as much as possible.
- Check the load after every time that any abrupt manoeuvre or emergency braking has occurred to make sure that the load has not become unsafe.
Transporting radiation sources – further information
Every endeavour has been made to ensure that the information here is accurate at the time of writing. However, the information provided should be used as a guide only. Please see the following publications for more details:
Load restraint guide (National Transport Commission)
Code of practice for the safe transport of radioactive material (ARPANSA)
Safely transporting dangerous goods (WorkSafe)
Australian code for the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail (National Transport Commission).
For enquiries about the safe loading and restraint of vehicles, contact VicRoads' Transport Safety Services staff, as outlined in Table 1.
Table 1: VicRoads Transport Safety Services