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Forklift Trailer Safety
Forklift operators work with trailers on a daily basis in order to load and unload cargo. For many operators, transporting cargo from a trailer may be second nature. However, the fact remains that trailer safety is one of the most important components of successfully operating a forklift. In addition, the trailer is one of the most common sources for forklift-related injuries. The average forklift is heavier than 3 cars (a whopping 9000 pounds), so any injuries that result are serious and many are fatal. This post offers a basic introduction to trailer safety, as well as describing some of the injuries that can result from improper handling of the forklift and trailer.
What are some common trailer-related injuries?
Two of the most prevalent forklift incidents that involve trailers are dock shock and trailer drop. Both are relatively self-explanatory. In a nutshell, dock shock refers to shock that occurs when the forklift moves between the floor of the warehouse and the trailer bed. Dock shock commonly results from bumps or gaps that may exist on the dock leveler. The shock associated with dock shock can result in potentially severe spinal damage. Trailer drop refers to commotion from the vertical trailer bed. When a forklift travels inside and outside of trailers that are unstable, this often results in trailer drop. Trailers that have air-ride suspension systems are especially likely to cause trailer drop, as they tend to feature greater vertical movement—for this reason, think twice before purchasing one of these trailers.
How you can improve trailer safety
Trailer safety begins with the premise that the trailer must be secure at all times. In the event that it is not stable, the wheels can start moving, causing the trailer to tip and all of the cargo to get damage. This means that you will need to chock the wheels of the trailer and forklift. It is also possible to use a dock lock to stabilize the forklift. To this end, it is a good idea to look into the Glad Hand Lock in order to keep the trailer from moving while cargo is being loaded and unloaded.
Finally, it is important that the supervisor be trained to make sure that proper trailer safetyis being observed at all time. Operators should also use their eyes and ears to make sure that other operators are not harmed at any time. Through following the tips discussed in this post, you can follow proper trailer safety and go a long way toward preventing trailer drop, dock shock, and any other trailer-related forklift injuries.