Safety in Transport
By their very nature, transport operations, whether by road, rail, inland waterway, sea, or where they involve a combination of modes, are inherently dangerous, involving as they do the movement of heavy vehicles, rail rolling stock, and waterway vessels, and the loading, unloading, lifting, and transfer of heavy-load units such as shipping containers and swap bodies, often in confined and congested premises. In the absence of great care and diligent observation of safety procedures, the risk of accident is ever present. Hence the reason that, as this chapter shows, extensive regimes of legislative control have been established to safeguard, so far as is reasonably possible, against every such eventuality. Furthermore, in the interest of cross-border liberalization and fair competition throughout the European Union (EU), there is concern to identify and harmonize safety and technical standards across all forms of equipment (including transport equipment) used in international trade, all of which spells yet more complex regulation and stringent standards which the transport operator must observe, or be heavily penalized should he unwittingly fail to do so. The important point to remember is that irrespective of the circumstances and irrespective of policy aims and objectives, concern for safety must remain paramount.