Truck Loading and Unloading: 5 Keys to Avoid Injury
There are many things to be aware of when loading and unloading a truck and many people don't know or choose to ignore. From 2005-2010 in Washington State alone, there were 12 fatalities due to improper truck loading/unloading.
Avoid injuries and fatalities by implementing the following safe truck loading and unloading techniques:
1) Be Aware Of Trucks Backing Into The Loading Zone
Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when giant trucks are involved. If a truck is backing up, get away from the loading zone as it is very hard for the driver to see behind the truck and he could easily back into you. Wait until the truck has come to a complete stop to venture into the loading zone.
2) Be Sure All Loads Are Properly Secure
All objects in a truck need to be secured before hitting the road. If they are not secure, it could lead to broken objects in the truck. This environment creates a lot of workplace safety hazards with truck unloading. Be certain your loads are secure by using load bars, vertical supports and road straps.
3) Stay Clear Of The Loading Zone While Machines Are In Use
When you are on foot near or in the truck-loading zone, you need to get out of the way while machines are loading/unloading the truck. Machines are unpredictable sometimes and you never know if one could malfunction, causing workplace injuries or fatalities. It's best to stay clear in case anything does go wrong.
4) Protect All Gaps And Drop Offs In Truck Loading Zones
When you are loading and unloading a truck, it can be difficult to see exactly where you are stepping. So, if there is a gap or drop off, you most likely won't be able to see it, which creates the risk for a fall injury. You need to protect all of these gaps and drop offs before you start truck loading and unloading. This way, you are able to walk with confidence, knowing you won't fall.
5) Use Proper Lifting Techniques
Using the proper lifting technique prevents workplace accidents and injuries. Rather than bending over and creating unneeded stress on your back, simply bend your knees and go down to pick up the object. This also makes the object much easier to carry. Another tip is to keep the object close to you, which gives you more control over it and limits the chance of dropping it.
There are many things to keep in mind when you are loading/unloading a truck. But if you practice these simple workplace safety techniques, you and your employees can prevent accidents, injuries and even fatalities.