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Dump Truck Overturns Toolbox Talk

Educate your crews on the dangers of dump truck overturns.

Dump Truck Overturns Safety Talk

Dump trucks are widely used on construction sites to haul materials or waste from one place to another. Many may assume that they are just like any other vehicle and neglect to pay close attention to the unique safety hazards of dump trucks when operating on.

Dump trucks can potentially turn over and pose a serious safety risk to the operator or others nearby. It is important to remember that caution should be used at all times when you are operating a dump truck on a worksite.

Injuries caused by overturned dump trucks

When on a busy construction site, there are many workers constantly moving around completing different tasks. To prevent accidents and injuries, you must pay close attention to the safety of yourself and the others around you. Many incidents are caused by a lack of awareness.

The actual number of overturned dump truck accidents that occur on construction sites annually is unknown. But, this type of incident happens far more often than it should.

There is risk of major injuries to both the operator of the dump truck and the people standing in or around the scene when a truck flips over. These trucks are extremely heavy and can cause broken bones, paralysis, or even death.

Causes of overturned dump trucks

Failure to pay attention or use the correct safety precautions is probably one of the most common reasons for errors when operating a dump truck. It is easy to get comfortable on the job and feel there isn’t a risk. However, you should always follow proper protocol. Depending on the type of work that is being done, rules and regulations may vary from worksite to worksite.

Some of the most common causes of overturned dump trucks are:

  • Load that shifted - When a load shifts in a truck, it can put too much weight on one side of the truck and cause it to overturn. It is very important to pay close attention to what you are hauling and the grounds that you are driving on. You should always make the necessary adjustments to stay balanced when hauling materials in a dump truck.

  • Uneven ground - Driving on uneven grounds can be dangerous when you are operating a heavy vehicle. When the ground is uneven it can cause the materials or waste that is being hauled to shift and the vehicle to tip. Make sure driving routes and dumping locations are properly designated and uneven ground is visibly marked.

  • Soft ground - If the ground that the dump truck is driving on to unload the bed is too soft, it can cause significant issues. The truck can sink and move, posing a big risk for weight being distributed unevenly. Again, make sure driving routes and dumping locations are well marked and inspected.

dump truck on construction site.

How to prevent dump truck overturns

When you are operating a dump truck on a construction site, there are protocols and regulations that should be followed. These are put in place to keep people as safe as possible.

There is always a risk of incidents, but by following the rules, we can keep them to a bare minimum.

  • Never dump a load on uneven grounds. Try to always make sure your dump truck is level on all 4 sides. If the time does come that you need to dump somewhere that isn’t, always dump the truck with the slope, not against it.

  • Inspection of your truck is a very important part of operations. Before and after each load, a visual inspection should be made of the dump truck. This way you can identify any potential problems that might be developing.

  • Try to always dump away from busy roads or roads in general. There are many safety hazards when unloading a dump truck close to moving traffic, and it is best to be a good distance away.

  • When dumping the truck, always make sure all people are a safe distance away from the load that is being dumped. Whether a person is standing around, sitting in a car, or completing a task nearby, they should always be out of the direct line of the load.

  • Make sure all grounds are stable and able to withstand the weight of the dump truck. When you dump your load, weight is going to shift, and you need to make sure the ground you are on is going to withstand all the weight.

  • Your truck should always be loaded as evenly as possible. When you load your materials, space things out and make them even on each side. This includes the front and back. When the load is placed unevenly, you are at a greater risk of overturning the dump truck.

  • When you are unloading the truck, you should always pay close attention to the evenness of the load as well. When materials are offloaded unevenly, this can result in the bed overturning.

Precautions of operating a dump truck

Take all the necessary precautions that you can when operating a dump truck. Every time you make a delivery of a load, do a walk-around inspection of the truck and the area around it.

Safety is always your number one priority when it comes to operating major machinery.

Safety is key

Many fatalities and injuries happen due to safety rules and regulations being neglected.

There are many heavy pieces of machinery and vehicles being operated on a construction site at any given time. The rules that are put into place are there to keep everyone as safe as possible. It is important to remember to work together to protect one another and always be responsible.

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