Collect and transport casualty vehicles for salvage or recycling

Business Sectors (Suites): Vehicle Recycling
Developed by: IMI
Approved on: 30 Mar 2022


This standard is about removing and transporting upright vehicles (to include light vehicles, light commercial vehicles and motorcycles) from the roadside or an off-road position, in a salvage or end of life situation. 

It is also about securing and assessing the site and providing information to, and seeking guidance from, relevant specialist authorities where hazardous substances, including high voltage systems, or situations may be involved.

NB: This standard does not deem someone competent to isolate a high voltage system.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 wear suitable personal protective equipment throughout all vehicle collection and transportation activities
P2 carry out a daily vehicle check prior to use
P3 maintain, check and use loading and securing equipment following manufacturer's recommendations
P4 carry out a risk assessment of the vehicle collection to include:

P4.1 identification of vehicle type
P4.2 the existence of any hazardous and potentially hazardous substances
P4.3 any real and potential fire risks
P4.4 the prevailing weather conditions
P4.5 the roadside situation
P4.6 the need for any specialist assistance
P4.7 the appropriate type of transporter equipment to use
P4.8 the best position for the transporter
P4.9 the best method to load the vehicle
P4.10 the winch cable route, where required
P5 continue to assess the situation throughout the collection and transportation process 
P6 communicate clearly with customer or vehicle owner
P7 promptly contact the relevant authorities when required, providing appropriate clear and accurate information
P8 make justifiable decisions for a course of action based upon the information gained from your initial assessment of the situation
P9 conduct all collection and transportation activities following:

P9.1 legal requirements
P9.2 workplace procedures
P9.3 industry codes of practice
P9.4 health and safety requirements
P9.5 operator’s licence compliance requirements
P9.6 the Environment Agency’s hazardous waste regulations 
P10 promptly report alternative options to your organisation/office for action where the transporter vehicle and equipment prove unsuitable 
P11 work in a way which minimises the risk of:

P11.1 further damage to the vehicle 
P11.2 contact with leakage, hazardous materials/substances or high voltage components
P11.3 any potential further damage to your working environment
P11.4 injury to self and others

P12 ensure your initial assessment of the vehicle establishes the nature and extent of any vehicle damage and that it is safe prior to commencing any transportation operation 
P13 use transporter equipment which is suitable for the type, condition and weight of casualty vehicle and the nature of the operation
P14 safely operate winching equipment
P15 safely load casualty vehicle onto transportation vehicle by using the best method according to risk assessment
P16 maintain the security of vehicle machinery and equipment, ensuring visible safe working load (SWL) or working load limit (WLL) markings
P17 safely transport and unload the casualty vehicle at the relevant destination 
P18 ensure all records are accurate and complete and promptly passed to the relevant person(s) 

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

Legislative and organisational requirements and procedures
K1 the legal requirements, operator licence, industry codes of practice, environmental requirements and workplace procedures relevant to site protection, collection and transportation of vehicles
K2 the importance of wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment
K3 how to carry out an appropriate risk assessment and use this assessment to determine collection and transportation of vehicles 
K4 how to work safely and identify hazards when collecting and transporting vehicles for salvage or recycling
K5 the range of services and resources available within your organisation
K6 your organisation's operating, reporting and recording procedures
K7 the importance of informing the relevant authorities/responsible parties where roadside operations are likely to affect other traffic
K8 how to complete records accurately and the importance of doing so
K9 your own role and limits of authority relevant to preparing and loading a vehicle for recovery and dealing with hazardous materials/substances or high voltage systems
K10 the referral process for dealing with unexpected issues
K11 the hazards associated with working on or near petrol and alternative fuel vehicle systems and components 

Assessing and securing the site
K12 the difference between a risk assessment and a dynamic risk assessment
K13 the difference in requirements for securing and protecting all working areas
K14 the dangers associated with site and roadside operations and how to lessen the risks to yourself, customers and other road users
K15 the sources of specialist advice and guidance and the circumstances in which to call
K16 how weather conditions affect the assessment and security of the situation and transporter operations
K17 how to interpret the results of your initial assessment and make justifiable decisions for a course of action
K18 how to secure and protect working sites and yourself
K19 how to use electronic and radio communication methods effectively
K20 how to communicate with customers and relevant authorities
K21 how to identify vehicles carrying hazardous substances and the importance of seeking guidance from others when hazardous substances are present
K22 the possible consequences of inaccurate roadside assessment

Vehicle transporter and equipment *
K23 the types, purpose and use of relevant vehicle transporter equipment
K24 the importance of carrying out a daily check on the transporter vehicle
K25 vehicle axle weights and stability and the safe working loads for transporter/recovery equipment and maintain in accordance with manufacturer and LOLER Regulations  

Vehicle transportation 
K26 how to make an initial assessment of the extent of vehicle damage and or faults
K27 how to assess the most suitable method for the type of transportation relevant to the type and condition of the casualty vehicle and the location
K28 how to assess the weight of a casualty vehicle, including a load where appropriate
K29 how to use suitable site-to-base communication methods
K30 how to give clear, appropriate and informative instructions to customers
K31 the operation of braking and transmission systems
K32 the principles of loading and load containment
K33 how to prepare and secure vehicles for transportation
K34 how to check for and deal with any vehicle systems, load leakage and care of load if applicable
K35 how to correctly position and load the transporter
K36 how to perform safety checks and fit loading and *transportation equipment for the types of casualty vehicle transported
K37 how to use suitable warning lights
K38 how to avoid further damage to vehicles during load/unload and transportation

Winching techniques
K39 how and why to initiate and maintain effective communication when preparing a winching operation

K40 the implications of working at height in relation to routine operator checks and basic maintenance, loading and unloading of vehicles
K41 the principles of winch theory, resistances to winching a casualty and stabilisation of the transporter vehicle
K42 the principles of powered winch operation and the loads to be applied, including the multiplication of forces when pulleys, snatch blocks, strops and anchor points are used
K43 the methods used to change direction of pull or increasing the pull of the winch
K44 the capabilities, limitations and methods of operating the winch on gradients  
K45 the function of all operating controls for a winch
K46 the safe working load of all ancillary equipmen*t* in various configurations
K47 the points to inspect on the cable and terminal fixings, the range and signs of possible cable damage and the limits to cable wear and tear that are acceptable for winching


1. **Transportation equipment** includes:

1.1. transporters
1.2. vehicle mounted recovery systems
1.3. winches
1.4. trailers
1.5. spec lifts/support lifts
1.6. motorcycle van

2. Winching operation includes:

2.1. Pre-winching checks
2.2. agreeing the signalling system with the winch operator and banksman where applicable  
2.3. identifying (and calculating) the different resistances to winching when recovering a vehicle

3. Winching and ancillary equipment includes:

3.1. winch
3.2. winch wire
3.3. continuous loops
3.4. shackles
3.5. snatch blocks
3.6. chains and brothers
3.7. strops
3.8. capstan
3.9. lighting board for casualty vehicle
3.10. skates and dolly wheels

4. Securing vehicle for transportation includes:

4.1. straps and ratchets
4.2. chains and ratchets

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





This section contains examples and explanations of some of the terms used but does not form part of the standard.

Agreed timescales:
A job time set by your company or agreed with a specific customer.

Alternative fuel
This is defined as any type of fuel that may be used to power an internal combustion engine (for example, LPG, bio ethanol etc. and hydrogen fuel cell systems), or electric vehicles, to include:

  • Hybrid (HEV) - to include mild/micro hybrid vehicles where the voltage is considered dangerous.
  • Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
  • Extended Range Electric Vehicle (ER-EV) or Range Extended Electric Vehicle (RE-EV)
  • Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Pure Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)

Clear and accurate information *
To include the prevailing weather conditions, the location and roadside situation, the nature of the collection and real and potential hazards.

Contact the relevant authorities
When hazardous substances are present, the condition of the vehicle and its removal presents a hazard, where specialist handling may be required or where the loading manoeuvre is likely to obstruct the flow of traffic.

Pre-winching checks
To include deploying the winch cable for a visual inspection, carrying out a practical check on all operating functions of the equipment including safety devices, winch controls and winch security as appropriate

Relevant authorities
To include your organisation

These are light vehicles, light commercial vehicles and motorcycles, up to 3,500kgs GVM. Additionally, these vehicles may be internal combustion (ICE) or alternative fuel vehicles.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Vehicle Recycler

SOC Code



Collect; transport; winching; risk assessment; casualty vehicle; recycling; salvage;