Unloading Trailers Toolbox Talk

Brief your crews on best practices for safety when it comes to unloading trailers on the jobsite.

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Unloading Trailers Safety Talk

There are so many different tasks going on around construction zones, including transportation of heavy equipment, tools, and materials. You may not realize the importance of knowing the safest way to unload a trailer. There needs to be preplanning and guidelines that are followed to make sure these tasks are managed safely.

Set A Plan In Place For Unloading Trailers

Anyone who is involved in the unloading of trailers containing materials, heavy equipment, and tools should know the proper way to go about it. It may not seem like something that requires much thought process being put into it, but it does. There are several things that need to be considered, communicated, and planned prior to the truckload arriving. To help things go smoothly and without problems, you should consider a couple of things.

The Load

Before a load arrives on-site, there should be communication to the crew responsible for unloading it. Letting them know what is on the load and make sure they are prepared for what they are having to unload. There may be equipment or materials that they are going to need in order to get the items off the truck. This will help for there to be less confusion and problems on the day of delivery.

Driver Expectations

Communication is not only for the crew that is unloading the trailer but for the driver of the truck as well. They need to know what the expectation is for them. Some of the major things are:

  • Where they need to go for unloading
  • The speed limit on-site
  • The time delivery needs to be made
  • If they need escorts
  • PPE should be worn
  • Truck requirements
  • Trailer requirements
  • Phone numbers in case of problems
  • Hazards that may be present
  • You can communicate all of these types of subjects with a journey management planning document. That way it is all printed out and easily remembered and planned by the trucker. This also allows for you to get a signature from the driver to ensure he read all the contents of it. The driver can ask any questions they may have before arriving and also will know the safety regulations that are to be followed on your construction site.

    Unloading Trailers And Common Hazards

    There are a number of hazards that can present themselves on a construction site. Including the ones that can occur while unloading a trailer delivery. There are many things to consider when unloading, such as:

  • Worksite setup
  • Equipment used
  • Materials being offloaded
  • Type of trailer
  • Depending on all of these things, will determine what hazards you could be presented with. There are some that are more common than others. Some of the hazards that are the most prevalent and should be paid close attention to are described below.

    Pinch Point Hazards

    When you are unloading trailers, you need to be very aware of all the hazards that you can face. Pinch point hazards are most common when lifting objects. It can also happen when staging the materials on site. If you try to pay close attention to the tasks benign performed, you can better avoid these injuries.

    Caught-In or Between Hazards

    In order to unload some materials, you may need to use heavy equipment. This is helpful to avoid any lifting injuries and to safely get materials off of the trailer. There have been instances where workers get caught-in or between these moving pieces of equipment.

    This can be due to many different reasons that can happen. If there are workers around you, make sure everyone is aware of the steps you are taking. That way they can pay closer attention to where they are standing.

    Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards

    When you are getting onto a trailer to unload it, you have to be careful not to trip or fall. Even getting off the trailer can pose a risk. It is so easy to trip, slip, or fall when unloading a trailer. A good way to help prevent these instances is to keep your work area clean.

    When you are unloading, try to put everything out of the direct walking area. That way there are fewer items in the way to fall over. These instances can result in someone getting injured and not being able to work.

    Struck-By Hazards

    Struck-by instances are one of the biggest concerns that there are on construction sites. There is so much going on to get everything done. Workers and structures are of concern about being struck-by heavy equipment when it is in use.

    When you are unloading a trailer, it is a good idea to do an inspection of the area first. That way you are completely aware of your surroundings before operating the equipment. Any other workers helping you unload need to be aware of when you are running the equipment as well.

    What Are The Delivery Drivers Responsibilities?

    The delivery driver is responsible to know the route to your location and the rules to follow when on site. They are not the ones who unload your materials. That is the crew member’s responsibility to get done.

    However, they are required to follow all the precautions and rules that you laid out for them before arriving. That is one reason it is important to have this preplanned and sent to them prior to arrival. The signature that they provide to you with it is to ensure they have acknowledged everything you want them to follow.

    Safety Comes First

    When it comes to working on a construction site, safety should be the number one concern. All tasks that are completed need to have safety in mind. The heavy equipment, tools, and materials that are used can be very hazardous when not used properly.

    Keeping a clean and organized construction site is very important. There shouldn’t be any tools or equipment left out and laying around. This poses a hazard for the heavy equipment that is used on a daily basis.

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