that the hydraulic dock levelers are properly positioned on the bed of the
trailer to allow for safe entry.
overhead clearance of doorways and entrances, some are below normal.
personal protective equipment required for any hazards, Steel-toe shoes are
Notify the supervisor if a hazardous substance is spilled. Follow proper
procedure for containment.
Proper lifting techniques shall be used. Get help or use lifting equipment if
must be made before unloading to make sure loads have not shifted during
transit, and are not likely to move or fall when restraints are removed.
Be alert for materials which may have been loaded improperly.
Trailer stands shall be used where applicable; i.e. pup trailers, etc.
Restraining devices should not be released until the load is ready to be
Interiors of trailers shall be kept free of debris and hazards.
heaters and refer units shall be protected to prevent damage or impaired
operation resulting from the shifting or handling of cargo.
satisfactory system of communication and procedures should be arranged between
the loader operator and truck driver before loading commences, and the truck
driver and the loader operator should agree on a safe place for the driver to
it a practice to stay with the load until completion of the unloading process.
chain, wire strap, load binder attachments and anchor points should be
maintained in good condition
must be safeguards against drivers accidentally driving away too early. This
does happen and is extremely dangerous.
Measures could include:
• Traffic lights.
• The use of vehicle or trailer restraints.
• The person in charge of loading or unloading could hold the vehicle keys or
paperwork until it is safe for the vehicle to be moved.
damage in transit, as you make deliveries, you must also adjust the remaining
load to further prevent damage; in other words, pile it down so nothing can fall
and keep .
Load within your
registered gross weight.
The basic five axle weight limitations are
12,000 pounds on the steering axle and 34,000 pounds on each tandem
configuration giving an over-all gross of 80,000 pounds.
You must check axle weights and maintain them within legal tolerances.
Wben loading vans, each
shipment will require different modes of loading. Use common sense and follow
Use even distribution
of weight from the front of the trailer to the back and from side to side.
Use blocking to prevent
the movement of larger items such as reels or machinery.
Ensure there is no
threat of movement by loose boxes. For example, pile boxes down or use a load
bar and a sheet of plywood to prevent boxes from falling backward.
Use blocking for metal
shipping crates that are not butted against each other or supported by the
sidewalls of the trailer.
Use strapping or shrink
wrap around cartons, which are loaded on a skid and are not butted against one
Ensure there is no
piling of heavier cartons on top of lighter cartons, which may be crushed.
Use strapping or some
form of securing for items, which are, loaded loosely at the back of the trailer
and which may fall off the trailer when the doors are opened.
Do not load any freight
past the 48' mark of the trailer. This means you will have 5' of empty trailer
at the rear. Be sure to brace the load properly to prevent the load from falling
Always ensure that you
read permits thoroughly with respect to any restrictions regarding routes, which
you will travel, restrictions to movement during certain hours of the day, and
speed limits that you can maintain.
Loading & Unloading Freight
Drivers are often expected to load and
unload freight; this may include manual lifting, such manual lifting can stress
the back and lead to injuries. Using forklifts, dollies and other material
handling devices can reduce the potential for injuries. Overexertion injuries
are another concern, particularly when drivers who have been traveling for an
extended time are expected to move freight. Hand injuries are also common. To
prevent these injuries:
Evenly distribute loads within the
trailer. Proper tandem adjustment and use of landing gear or stabilizer bars are
ways to prevent accidents from unstable falling loads. However, their use can be
strenuous, which increases the risk of injury.
Proper staging (placement) of freight can
help reduce injuries associated with manual materials handling as well. For
example, heavy objects should be placed in areas that are easily accessible.
Some carriers use portable adjustable
platforms, which can be placed at different heights inside the trailer. This not
only better stabilizes the load, it also provides for easier access.
Drivers and dockworkers should avoid
pinch-points of the latching mechanisms on trailer doors that either swing back
or open overhead.
Wearing gloves can help workers avoid cuts
and scrapes from sharp edges and pinch points.
Falling & Leaking Freight
Falling and leaking freight expose drivers
and dock workers to additional hazards. Consider these controls:
Swingback doors should be opened slowly
and workers should be cautious of freight that may be leaning against the door.
To avoid injury, workers should keep the door between themselves and the
trailer’s contents as a shield against falling freight.
Overhead doors should be raised slowly
until workers are sure that no freight will fall. Before entering the trailer,
they must also pause for a moment to ensure that the door will stay up.
Drivers should use the ropes or straps
provided when closing an overhead door; these should be long enough to permit
drivers to pull the door down while standing on the ground. If a door must be
closed while standing on the vehicle, drivers should pull down far enough so it
can be closed from the ground, then dismount the vehicle and finish the task.
Drivers must also be warned to never pull the rope and dismount at the same
It is your
responsibility to ensure that your load is evenly balanced and distributed so as
not to endanger driving. Check axle weights and maintain them within legal
tolerances. Contact Management or Dispatch if any load does not meet legal
Dockworkers should be alert for signs of
leaking freight, especially if it contains hazardous materials. If employees
suspect a release, they should immediately exit the trailer and notify personnel
who have been trained to respond to such incidents.
If the truck driver needs to go into the
loading zone for any reason (eg, to adjust equipment, make repairs, inspect
load, etc) they may do so only with the loader operator’s approval. No loading
activity should occur while the truck driver is in the loading zone.
Load Securement & Tie-Downs
According to federal regulations, all
freight must be secured while in transit. Achieving this can be physically
taxing - i.e., it brings another injury risk into play.
Training drivers how to safely use
load-securement devices, such as chains, tarps and binders, will reduce their
risk of injury.
Handling tarps in windy conditions is
extremely dangerous and should be avoided.
In some cases, a driver harness tie-off is
necessary for safe load securement duties.
Systems that allow drivers to make
adjustments from the ground further reduce the risk of injury. Making
adjustments while standing on the vehicle or its load presents a fall hazard,
especially if the load shifts or if the securement device fails. The best
practice is to avoid standing on any part of the load when applying or releasing
A loading dock is a busy area. Forklifts,
dollies and carts, and employees usually intermingle continually with one
another. As a result, the potential for injury is significant. Forklift
tip-overs and falls off loading docks can produce severe injuries. In some
cases, a driver may unknowingly pull his/her truck away from the dock while the
forklift is moving in between.
In addition, trailers may inch forward
during forklift operations. This "trailer creep" can create a gap large enough
for the forklift to fall into. Consider the following controls:
Proper communication or the installation
of swing gates is important to reducing the potential for these types of
The use of properly maintained dock locks,
spring-loaded braking systems, auxiliary air hoses, and wheel chocks can help
prevent this problem.
The driver and loading dock personnel must
also secure dock boards and bridge plates between the loading dock and trailer,
and verify that these devices are strong enough to support the anticipated load.
Forklift operators must receive extensive
training on how to safely operate the vehicle and be made aware of potential
hazards that exist within the operating environment.
Dock workers must also make sure that hand
trucks, dollies and carts are in good condition prior to use, and ensure that
forklifts are properly maintained and used only within their specification
Wear personal protective equipment
consistent with the hazard. Steel-toe shoes are required, safety glasses, ear
protection etc. may be required.
Ensure that the hydraulic dock levelers
are properly positioned on the bed of the trailer to allow for safe entry.
When ramps are wet or icy, special
attention is required to avoid slipping or sliding.
To maintain stability, trailers should be
parked on firm level ground.
The over-hanging part of the load must be