A number of serious accidents have occurred in which truck drivers have been fatally injured or amputated after being struck by unstable cargo tipping from a flatbed trailer. These accidents occurred during loading or unloading operations at locations not under the control of the driver’s employer, when using motorized material handling equipment by employees of delivered the goods. The drivers have a vital role in the proper loading of their trailers, they are responsible for the good condition of the vehicle on the road and the stability of the load. Unstable cargo can be made of pipes, wood or other materials. The free load board specialists can help you out with these.
Accidents or injuries that occur on or around trays when loading and unloading the cargo may be caused by a number of factors, including:
- the fact of not being familiar with the client’s way of doing things, in an active environment;
- failure to communicate effectively with the operator of the material handling equipment;
- the use of an unknown or unreliable or inappropriate method when stowing the goods during loading;
- working or standing in an area where the goods could tilt during loading;
- participation in loading or unloading operations that the driver does not know well;
- lack of attention during the process due to the performance of other tasks such as the preparation of straps or chains;
Have little or no guidance from a supervisor, as well as no procedures to follow.
Elimination and risk control
Drivers should be aware of the following measures, which can help prevent accidents and injuries when loading or unloading cargo on a flatbed truck:
Become aware of all the risks
Know the employer’s risk prevention program and how it applies to clients’ workplaces
- use all available safety equipment such as shims, wedges, cradles, struts, tie-down straps or dunnage accessories;
- collaborate with others involved in the process;
- follow the methods or procedures established by the employer and the shipper or consignee;
- stay at a safe distance from the load, in case it suddenly rocks;
- Design a load securement method to avoid working at height without a fall protection device;
- ensure the stability of the air suspension of the trailer when heavy goods are loaded or unloaded;
- know the right to refuse to perform a task if a process seems dangerous.
Employers must ensure the health and safety of employees involved in the process of loading and unloading a truck, regardless of location. Part II of the Canada Labor Code is not only applicable to the workplace in the strict sense of the term; it requires every employer to ensure the health and safety of its employees in the performance of any work they do.
To ensure the health and safety of employees at the scene while a truck is being loaded or unloaded, employers should consult the Health and Safety Policy Committee (if applicable), local health and safety representative or representative to:
- identify and assess the risks associated with working in unknown workplaces;
- identify and assess the risks associated with the handling of any type of goods that the driver may be required to transport;
- implement appropriate controls to prevent assessed risks, for example, establishing prohibited access areas during the loading process or requiring employees not to participate in the operations;
- provide driver training on safe work procedures for loading and unloading trailers;
- provide training to employees on how to use the required equipment safely.