Module 4 – Project Task 1.1 – Site Plans and Facilities
Procedure covering safe unloading and inspection of materials
Ensure vehicle is stopped, braked, and stabilized before unloading
This is the most important step when it comes to loading and unloading activities. Workers must ensure the vehicle they are loading/unloading is stopped, braked, and stabilized before any other actions are taken. Trying to unload unstable cargo from a vehicle can be the quickest way to severe or even fatal injuries that can be easily avoided by simply being patient.
Loading areas should be well lit at all times
Don’t keep workers in the dark. Lighting is crucial for any business where vehicle loading or unloading is a routine activity. If workers do not have a clear environment to work in, this is an accident waiting to happen.
Loading areas should be free from hazards
All loading areas should be free from hazards that can create scenarios where injuries occur. Potholes, debris, and other hazards should be removed from areas where loading activities occur. Businesses will have a lesser chance of injuries to workers if there are fewer hazards for employees to work around.
Unloading area should be free of traffic
Forklifts are crucial for loading and unloading operations. However, they can be a primary source of employee injuries. Unloading areas should always be one-way when it comes to forklift traffic. This keeps workers safe while avoiding the risk of employees being struck by backing up forklifts. Keeping the loading area free of traffic also applies to employees. There should never be any loitering or unauthorized personnel in the loading/unloading areas. This only creates distractions and hazards which can quickly escalate to disaster.
Ensure loads are secured and arranged properly
Unloading activities are not completed until the cargo is safe, secure, and arranged properly. This not only keeps the area safe but also keeps workers on the unloading end safe. Shifting cargo can create significant hazards for dock workers and drivers that can lead to severe injuries. Taking the time to double check cargo before shipping it off is a great way to lower risk of injuries on both ends.
Teach Employees Proper Technique
Instruct employees in important key techniques to help prevent strains and sprains. Considering the weight and shape of a load is vital before engaging in the task of moving it. Be sure that drivers and handlers put their feet apart for a wide base of support and then engage their core muscles. Follow safe lifting rules like maintaining a neutral back and bending with your hips and knees, and changing direction with your whole body rather than twisting. When handling lids or covers from loads, advise your employees to avoid lifting them overhead.
Safety Policy Checklist
- Has any cargo moved in transit?
- Are all items effectively secured?
- Are top loaded items stable?
- Could any cargo move or become unstable if the load restraint devices are removed?
- Is there suitable equipment available to unload the vehicle/s?
- Is there any spillage of product being transported?
- Does the vehicle manifest indicate it is carrying Dangerous Goods (DG)? (If yes, refer to DG checklist) (National Transport Insurance NTI, 2020)
National Transport Insurance NTI, 2020. Safe Loading and Unloading Checklist. [Online]
Available at: https://www.nationaltransportinsurance.com.au/getmedia/a0cb213d-89e7-4afe-a9b7-f39ec023884f/safe-loading-and-unloading-checklist-19.pdf
[Accessed 23 May 2021].