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Safe systems to immobilise heavy vehicles and trailers

The film shows how to safely immobilise trucks and trailers to prevent your workers being crushed or hit while working on them or nearby.

Download a copy of this film (ZIP/MP4, 235 MB)

On Screen Text: Safe systems to immobilise trucks and trailers

Voice over: There have been a number of incidents in Queensland where transport industry workers have been killed when hit or crushed by a truck or trailer.

Drivers may need to work under a truck or trailer en-route to a delivery to check for faults or to do emergency servicing and repairs.

In one recent case, a worker died when he was crushed by the truck he was working under. The rear wheels had not been chocked and the truck rolled backwards off the hydraulic jack.

In another case, a driver was run over by his own B-double truck after he got out of it without applying the handbrake.

You can manage these risks by using controls that ensure heavy vehicles are properly immobilised to prevent any unexpected movement prior to work being carried out.


On the road

Voice over: A breakdown en route can be a stressful situation. Workers can be easily distracted and may not remember to apply the handbrake or to chock the wheels.

Handbrake warning systems are a good way to remind drivers to apply the handbrake before they get out, wherever they are. They can be easily retro-fitted to the maxi-brake to alert drivers when the handbrake has not been applied.

If a truck does break down en route, the safest option is to have it towed to a workshop and work in a controlled environment, but if a driver must do a roadside repair, they should:

  • pull the truck off the road where possible and turn on the hazard lights
  • apply the handbrake before getting out of the vehicle
  • chock the wheels before beginning any work.


In the workshop

Voice over: In a workshop, take the following precautions:

  • Inspect or work on the truck from an inspection pit or by using a truck hoist which has been installed and maintained in line with the manufacturer's specifications. Load limits should be clearly identified on the hoist.
  • Remove the ignition key and keep it with you to stop another worker starting the engine while you are under the truck.
  • If not using a truck hoist, ensure the truck is safely supported by axle stands before working underneath it. Any wheels remaining on the ground should be chocked.
  • Ensure the stands are on a hard, level surface and are correctly placed under suitable support points of the truck or trailer.
  • Use props for additional support when removing heavy components.
  • Restrict access to the immediate area, especially around an inspection pit. When not in use, always cover the pit or use barriers to prevent falls into it. The pit's edges should be clearly visible and there should be a safe means of entry and exit.

Working on, under or around trucks and trailers can lead to severe crush injuries if you don't securely immobilise them.

Make sure your workers are using suitable controls to immobilise their trucks before working on them.

Work safe. Home safe.


Use effective controls to prevent crush injuries while working on trucks:

  • add a handbrake warning device to your trucks
  • always apply the handbrake and chock the wheels
  • remove the ignition key while working on trucks
  • work in a controlled environment where possible and restrict access to the immediate work area.

RUN TIME: 3 min 21 sec