August 24, 2015
Top 10 tips for safely delivering goods and materials

If you’re working on a landscaping project for days or weeks, you may face different site-specific hazards each day. Janet Bewers, a business developer at Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS), says, “Keep your people safe and your customers happy by preparing a delivery or jobsite plan in advance.”

Bewers says lack of familiarity with the location is just one risk. “Other variables include heavy traffic and poor weather conditions. Ontario Traffic Manual Book 7 - Temporary Conditions and TCP in Construction[1] is an essential starting point,” says Bewers. Although designed for traffic control in temporary construction zones affecting public roads, it contains useful tips and diagrams on setting up traffic control devices for anyone delivering materials to a project site.

Building the following considerations into a jobsite plan will help to anticipate hazards and minimize risk. “Treat the plan as a living document, so that you can continue anticipating and avoiding hazards as circumstances change,” says Bewers.

She offers the top list of how to avoid problems in delivering goods and materials.
  1. Figure out what vehicle(s) you need, taking into account unloading requirements and possible restrictions on the type or size of vehicle the site can safely handle. Use the smallest possible delivery vehicle.
  2. Check with the delivery location on any timing restrictions regarding loading or unloading goods or equipment.
  3. Identify the best routes to the site, taking into account one-way or narrow roads, low bridges, tight curves, overhead power lines, parking restrictions, etc. Also, reduce left-hand turns at intersections.
  4. Decide where to park your vehicle(s) safely and without inconveniencing other drivers, residents, pedestrians, etc. Aim for locations where unloading can take place off the road and away from passers-by.
  5. Assemble any procedures the driver and other employees must follow, such as
    • completing simple delivery safety checklists
    • unloading. Identify the equipment required, lifting capacity, safe practices, etc.
    • wearing personal protective equipment (high visibility clothing, gloves, footwear, etc.)
    • observing fall prevention measures
    • safe reversing, with guidance from traffic signaling colleagues
    • reporting vehicle accidents, near-misses and other safety concerns.
  6. Sketch a site plan showing parking, route to take through the site, safe unloading or loading zone, etc., and share with the person responsible for managing the delivery.
  7. Provide next steps for the driver(s) and site staff if they are dissatisfied with safety arrangements at the site (e.g., who to report concerns to).
  8. Load the vehicle(s) so that safety gear is readily accessible, such as the right traffic pylons for the roadway and traffic speed, traffic control signs, safety vests, protective head gear, etc.
  9. Ensure all workers involved in loading and unloading have been trained on safe practices, including traffic management if required.
  10. Go over the delivery plan with affected employees before the end of the previous day, and make clear who’s in charge.
To help improve your team’s safety performance use WSPS resources online at Also check out Landscape Ontario Workplace Safety Tailgate Talks for the Landscaping Industry at
Safe driving training opportunities may be found at