Safe Loading of Trucks

Loading and unloading trucks is a dangerous practice. Flatbed trucks are often covered by tarps, which hide the load underneath. But what we may not realize is how that load of material was loaded on that truck. Truck drivers who haul material for a living many times are required to take an active role in the loading procedure.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has set out an overview of its regulations, training requirements and other resources on its website. For example, OSHA provides an overview on loading flatbed trucks, which includes the use of powered industrial trucks in the process. Some call those forklift trucks. In some instances those loading machines are used by the company personnel responsible for putting on or taking off the load on the truck. However, drivers of flatbed trucks and other trucks are made aware of the safe methods of loading and unloading materials on trucks.

The dangers associated with loading and unloading trucks include the use of overhead cranes, electrical wiring and equipment, ladders, abrasive chemicals and ventilation.

There are many other hazards that workers loading and unloading trucks may encounter. However, there are safe ways in which to handle industrial materials onto and off trucks.

For safety purposes, only those workers experienced in handling of the load should be engaged in the process of loading or unloading trucks. That means experienced crane operators and forklift drivers should be trained in the specifics of the safety procedures for that particular job. Warnings of other workers who may be passing by are important. Injuries occur to those workers who may be uninvolved in the job, are in the wrong place when an accident occurs. In addition, all individuals involved should know the safety procedures of the facility that they are at and their own safety measures when loading and unloading trucks in a safe fashion.

When loading and unloading heavy materials, it is vitally important to make sure that all involved are communicating about what the project is and how safely to complete it. Too many times workers are injured because of unsafe conditions, lack of communication or lack of safe equipment. Preventing injury in loading and unloading trucks is the goal.

In one of our cases that went to a jury trial, our client an experienced over-the-road flatbed truck driver, arrived at a Chicago terminal to take on additional materials for delivery to a customer in Freeport, Illinois. The client truck driver already had on his truck many rolls of bundled steel rods. Anticipating the additional rolls of steel would be placed on his flatbed, he requested an experienced forklift operator to rearrange his current load to make room for the additional bundled rolls. Each roll of steel weighed about 2000 lbs. As the forklift driver raised multiple bundles of the rolls of steel, and while our client, the driver was standing on the flatbed, the forklift driver’s load slipped off his forks and landed on the client’s legs, crushing them. He suffered terrible injuries including the traumatic amputation of his right left above the knee. This accident was avoidable and preventable had the terminal company properly trained it forklift driver on safety procedures.

In another case our client was severely injured when the tubing being lifted from a flatbed truck by a crane slipped off and drove the client off the truck onto the ground. He suffered serious, neck, back and shoulder injuries as a result. Again, this accident was preventable if the safety procedures in placed had been followed by the crane operator and the company running this operation.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a loading or unloading truck injury, contact Kreisman Law Offices 24 hours a day at (312) 346-0045 or toll free (800) 583-8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. We are here to assist you and your family so that responsible parties are held accountable for the injuries or death to individuals injured in truck accidents. We have more than 40 years of experience handling loading and unloading truck injury cases. With our many years of experience in trying and settling loading and unloading truck cases in Illinois, we have the know-how to best handle your case. Our service is unmatched.

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