Hazards to Truck Drivers and other Workers while Loading and Unloading Trucks and Trailers
Loading and unloading materials, goods, and products from trucks are daily activities in many wood product and lumber businesses. These activities are also a regular and frequent source of workplace injuries and fatalities.
Some of the incidents that happened during truck loading and unloading are described here:
· An operations supervisor was assisting a forklift driver secure a load on a storage rack inside a trailer. The supervisor reached up and grabbed a piece of load to steady himself when the 500 lb. pallet of material shifted and fell on him.
· A truck driver was unloading a delivery of bundled lumber. He was standing beside the truck unfastening a securing strap when the bundle, which was improperly secured, fell off the truck and crushed him.
· Three workers were securing a load on the deck of a boom truck. The load came in contact with the levers of the boom crane, causing it to elevate and come into contact with an overhead high voltage power line. One worker was electrocuted. The other two received severe electrical shocks and were hospitalized
Most of these accidents may have been prevented. The purpose of this Fatal Facts is to alert individuals to the hazards of truck loading/unloading and to prevent future deaths or serious injuries when performing these jobs.
What you can do:
§ Restrict personnel on foot from the loading zone during operations.
§ Train loaders and drivers to identify hazards and apply safe work practices.
§ Secure loads on trucks, forklifts and cranes properly.
§ Establish procedures to assure workers are clear of trailers/wheels before moving
§ Protect all gaps and drop-offs on loading docks and lift gates.
§ Assure appropriate forklift and machinery equipment and training.
§ Never be downhill of a moving load.
§ Implement safer tarping equipment or procedures.
§ Use wheel chocks and other vehicle restraint devices
Tips for Employers:
Employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their trucks, drivers and other workers. Here are some suggestions for establishing safe work procedures.
1. Target your safety program to address these problems.
2. Establish safe procedures for all types of loading and unloading.
3. Train all workers involved in the operations or in the area of loading and unloading. Refresher training can help provide reinforcement.
4. Supervise workers and provide feedback for proper and improper procedures.
5. Maintain vehicles and equipment in safe operating condition. Failure of straps or anything securing a load can result in an incident.
6. Address “macho attitudes” or hasty work habits that may lead to unsafe conditions for people around trucks.
7. Encourage workers to report hazards encountered on the job.
By: Angelo T. Ganguzza, CIC