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Bob Lancaster Insurance, serving Florida's insurance needs since 1964. Contact us today at 321-725-1620 - see what we can do for YOU and YOUR BUSINESS!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Truck unloading is a daily activity in many businesses. It is also a regular source of injuries to the driver, workers and visitors. Employers have a responsibility to ensure they maintain a safe working environment. Forklift operators are also responsible for the safety of others in the unloading area.

This guideline should be used to help management establish safe work procedures as it relates to vehicle unloading

.• Establish an Unloading Area: 

o Area should be level to help maintain stability of the truck and trailer. The ground should be free of potholes and debris.

o Area should be free of overhead electric lines. o Area should be clear of other traffic -- vehicles or foot. Pedestrians, the truck driver, or others employees not involved in the unloading process should be clear of the area.

o Area should have sufficient lighting for early morning or evening unloading.

o If possible, the designated area should be a one-way route to prevent the need for vehicles to back up. If a driver is required to back the vehicle, a spotter should be used to protect pedestrians and property.

• Guidelines for Truck Drivers: 

o After checking into the office, the driver should proceed to the designated area and remove tarps, straps, or other load securement devices. Secure this material so it is not an obstruction to the forklift operator during the unloading process.

o Driver should secure vehicle, apply brakes, and turn off engine, as appropriate, to prevent unsafe movement during the unloading operation.

o Driver should proceed to a designated area (safe zone) located away from the truck and outside of the unloading area. The driver should remain in that area during the unloading operation. o NO material should be unloaded nor should any forklifts be operating in the area around the truck until the driver has completed all of the tasks above and moved to the designated safe zone.

• Guidelines for Forklift Operators: 

o Operating a forklift should be limited to individuals who are trained and qualified to do so, including general forklift safety topics and equipment specific training. Initial training should be completed prior to authorization of the driver to operate the forklift. Refresher training should be completed every three years and following any forklift-related accident, property damage, or near-miss incident.

o Have a clear understanding of the material being unloaded; unloading a bunk of 2x4 is different from unloading laminated beams or a pallet of roof shingles.

o Check the load -- Make sure that the load has not shifted, banding is still in place, and the overall load is in good condition and not likely to move or fall during the unloading process.

 o No one, including other workers, should be on the opposite side of a truck from a forklift while it is unloading material.

o EMPOWER your forklift driver to stop the unloading process if the location of the truck driver cannot be confirmed or someone else enters the unloading zone.

While unloading of material is an everyday activity at most operations, safety cannot be taken for granted. It is management’s responsibility to ensure that proper training and safe unloading procedures are in place and enforced.

 NOTE: These guidelines should also be used for loading operations.

Contact us for all your Insurance needs! (321)725-1620 
Bob Lancaster Insurance
Serving Florida since 1964

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