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Working safely on the highway

Occupiers of land have a duty not to obstruct the public highway or do anything that could in convenience or endanger the public while they use the highway. In addition, under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a duty to look after the health and safety not only of themselves, their family and employees, but everyone affected by their work.

Anyone working on the highway must be provided with (and wear) high visibility clothing confirming to current British Standards (opens new window).

Anyone working on the highway needs to carry public liability insurance to the value of £5m for any one claim.  We must see and confirm your insurance details before work can start.

Highway licences and fees

Warning signs

All signs placed on the highway should be self-supporting and weighed down to prevent them from being blown over.

Place signs in advance of the works such that they are clearly visible to drivers from both directions and from joining road junctions.

Signs and warning equipment on vehicles

  • A Keep Left/Right sign (as appropriate) needs to be fitted to all vehicles that move as part of the works. Signs with a minimum diameter of 600mm should be used, which must be removed or covered over when not in use.

    Keep right road sign
  • Vehicles should be fitted with an amber flashing beacon mounted so that it is clearly visible at all times to traffic from any direction, whether the vehicle is in operation or stationary. Contact the NFU Orderline on 0370 8458458 for more information (document ref: 103R)
  • Vehicles need to carry alternative red and yellow reflective marking in accordance with current British Standards
  • Work in the direction of traffic only
  • Where fitted, keep lights clean and in proper working order and use dipped headlights during the day to help warn other road users
  • To get a clear view of the road and vehicles behind you, fit an effective offside rear-view mirror

Storing and loading of materials

It is an offence to store or stand things on the highway, including the verges. This includes beet and potatoes, baled straw and so on. We have a duty to prevent this from occurring and can take legal action to secure removal.

  • When loading or carrying sugar beet, take care not to drop the beet onto the road where is may pose a danger to other road users
  • When open lorries or trailers are used, secure the load by some form of cover to prevent spillage
  • Park all machinery off highway verges and away from sight lines
  • Concrete hard-pads situated in fields adjacent to the highway help loading operations and reduce mud and debris

Further information

Visit the HSE Agriculture website (opens new window)

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