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STAY SAFE: Trailer loads of safety

BE CAREFUL: Ensure truck and trailer are safely immobilised so there is no unintentional movement, which could cause damage, injury or death.
BE CAREFUL: Ensure truck and trailer are safely immobilised so there is no unintentional movement, which could cause damage, injury or death. Kirstin Payne

THE transport industry has a high rate of serious injuries associated with workers securing loads, especially when using dogs and cheater bars.

To help combat this, a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland spokesman chatted to Big Rigs to share tips on how to keep safe at work.

One of the things drivers should be aware of is the potential of a load shift when unloading inside a trailer, as there is a potential risk of loads hitting or crushing workers when inside.

"When walking on the trailer, drivers should be aware of the potential of a fall,” the spokesman said.

"When around the trailer, drivers should ensure that the truck and trailer are safely immobilised so there is no unintentional movement, which can cause property damage, injury or even death.”

The spokesman said when drivers were tensioning chains, they should avoid using fixed lever over-centre load binders (dogs) and extension handles (cheater bars).

"These can build up significant energy and launch the cheater bar upwards at the driver's face,” he said.

"When opening and closing trailer curtains, drivers should avoid walking backwards when pulling them open or shut to avoid falls.

"When using gates on the trailer they should avoid manually removing the gates by themselves to prevent injuries.

"Drivers should also avoid throwing chains, webbing or lashing over the load as other workers could be struck and injured.”

The spokesman said the risk of dogs and cheater bars could be reduced by using webbing instead of chains and using a turn-buckle or winch-type tensioners instead of dogs.

"With curtains, drivers can use an extension strap to pull the curtain and they should ensure that the curtain tracks are well maintained,” he said.

"The risk when handling gates can be reduced if mechanical assistance is used to position the gates.

"Lead ropes should be used for chains, these can help decrease muscular stress and the chain striking other workers.”

There is a range of materials on the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website about safely securing loads.

There's also a short film about safely securing loads of trucks, an industry case study and guidance about what to consider when selecting a chain-tensioning device.

Topics:  health and safety safety trailers workplace health and safety

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