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Safe handling when securing loads on trucks

Workers risk traumatic injuries and musculoskeletal disorders when securing loads on trucks. These risks are especially significant when workers use fixed lever over-centre load tensioners (dogs), lever extension bars, gates and curtains.

The hazardous tasks associated with loading and unloading trucks include:

  • Handling gates - lifting and carrying a gate can require a forceful exertion and result in musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Handling curtains - moving side curtains by walking backwards can result in a slip, trip or fall.
  • Lashings and corner protectors - throwing or placing a lashing over a load often requires an awkward posture, which can result in musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Tensioning chains and webbing - using a fixed lever load binder to over-tighten a chain can result in being hit by the winch bar.

Controlling the risks

Handling gates

  • Eliminate the need for gates by using approved load bearing curtains.
  • Reduce the risk by using hanging, sliding or swinging gates that lock into the vehicle. If the gate has to be removed, place it on a solid platform that is about the same height as the truck tray.

Handling curtains

  • Eliminate the risk by using automatic curtains that are self-opening and closing.
  • Reduce the risk by making sure the curtains slide easily. When opening and closing curtains, check for tripping hazards, and walk slowly so the curtain moves smoothly.

Lashings and corner protectors

  • Eliminate the risk by using a load securing system that does not require the worker to use lashings.
  • Reduce the risk by using an elevated work platform to ensure workers do not climb onto the truck to pull straps over the load. Apply lashings and corner protectors while standing on the ground using a lightweight extension pole.

Tensioning chains and webbing

  • Eliminate the need for chains and webbing by using a truck that is custom-designed for loads.
  • Reduce the risk by using webbing straps as an alternative to chains. If chains are required, avoid using an over-centre lever load binder or an extension bar to increase chain tension. Consider using a turnbuckle non-rebounding tensioner.

Further information

View our Safely securing loads of trucks film and Safe handling when securing loads webinar.

Last updated
11 May 2017

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