Tag Archives: safety

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Transporting Cargo Safely

Transporting Cargo Safely

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Workplace safety includes driving and transporting. If you load cargo wrong or do not secure it properly, it can be a danger to others and yourself. Loose cargo that falls off a vehicle can cause traffic problems and others could be hurt or killed. Loose cargo could hurt or kill you during a quick stop or accident. Your vehicle could be damaged by an overload. Steering could be affected by how a vehicle is loaded, making it more difficult to control the vehicle. The operator of the transport vehicle is responsible for:
Inspecting the cargo.
Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced weight.
Knowing the cargo is properly secured and does not obscure the view ahead or to the sides.
Knowing the cargo does not restrict access to emergency equipment.

Transport Vehicle Inspections

As part of your vehicle inspection, make sure the truck is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced and secured properly.
Inspect the cargo and its securing devices again within the first 50 miles after beginning a trip. Make any adjustments needed. Re-check the cargo and securing devices as often as necessary during a trip to keep the load secure. Federal, state, and local regulations for commercial vehicle weight, securing cargo, covering loads, and where you can drive large vehicles vary from place to place. Know the rules where you will be driving.

You must keep weights within legal limits. Overloading can have bad effects on steering, braking, and speed control. Overloaded trucks have to go very slowly on upgrades. Worse, they may gain too much speed on downgrades. Stopping distance increases. Brakes can fail when forced to work too hard. The height of the vehicle’s center of gravity is very important for safe handling. A high center of gravity (cargo piled up high or heavy cargo on top) means you are more likely to tip over. It is most dangerous in curves, or if you have to swerve to avoid a hazard. It is very important to distribute the cargo so it is as low as possible. Put the heaviest parts of the cargo under the lightest parts.

Proper Loading Makes for Safe Handling

Poor weight balance can make vehicle handling unsafe. On flatbed vehicles, there is also a greater chance that the load will shift to the side or fall off. On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo must be secured to keep it from shifting or falling off. Tiedowns must be of the proper type and proper strength.

Over-length, over-width, and/or overweight loads require special transit permits. Driving is usually limited to certain times. Special equipment may be necessary such as “wide load” signs, flashing lights, flags, etc.  These special loads require special driving care. When the load on any vehicle extends 4 feet (48 inches) or more beyond the rear of the body, a solid red or fluorescent orange flag at least 12 inches square must be placed at the extreme end of the load.

A load extending 1 foot or more to the left on any vehicle must have an amber light on the extreme left side of the load. It must be visible at least 300 feet to the front and rear during darkness. If the load extends more than 120 inches, there must be an amber lamp at the front and a red lamp at the rear, each visible at least 300 feet. If the vehicle is wider than 102 inches, a red or fluorescent flag not less than 12 inches square must be displayed at the left front and left rear during daylight. Lastly, make sure the load does not block the view from any of your mirrors. In this photo, the driver cannot see any traffic on his right side.

This safety topic is just one of the hundreds of different topics
covered in the Daily Safety Huddle program.  

Call 815-919-4861 today for your 5-Day Trial Sample!

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ladder safety

Ladder Safety Learned The Hard Way

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Homeowner Falls Off Ladder.

This is a story about ladder safety, one of the most dangerous hazards people encounter on a regular basis.  This Illinois homeowner set up a ladder and was attempting to get on his roof in November to blow leaves off the roof.  He recently had new concrete poured on his patio.  He set up his ladder on the new, smooth concrete and rested the ladder against his gutter.  The temperature outside was around 30 degrees.  The homeowner strapped his gas-powered blower to his back, grabbed the hose with one hand and started up the ladder.  As he reached the roof edge, he started stepping from the ladder to the roof.  Just as he took his first step onto the roof, the ladder slid out from under him, causing him to fall approximately 10 feet to the ground below.  The ladder lost traction on the ground because conditions were icy and the base pads of the ladder were plastic. 

His wife, an ER nurse who happened to be home heard the fall and came to his aid and called an ambulance to take him to the hospital.  The homeowner suffered a broken wrist and a broken arm, each requiring screws and plates to aid in realigning the bones.  He was out of work for four months and needed six months of physical therapy.  He learned an important lesson about how dangerous ladders can be.


•  The homeowner should have made sure his ladder was set up on a stable surface and that it was set up at a proper angle so it couldn’t slide out from under him.

•  He also could have taken more care in carrying his blower up the ladder so it didn’t cause him to lose his balance.


•  Always set up ladders on solid, level, stable ground.

•  Inspect the ladder, rungs and rails for damage before climbing.

•  Let someone know you’ll be using a ladder to work on your roof or gutters.

•  Make sure ladders are set up at the proper angle so they can’t slide out
from under you.  Extend the ladder at least 3 feet above the roof line, or landing edge.

•  Always maintain three points of contact when on a ladder (i.e. two hands
and one foot or two feet and one hand).

•  Do not climb with tools in hand—use a tool belt.

•  Don’t overreach or stretch too far as this could cause the ladder to tip —
reposition the ladder closer to the work instead.

•  Think about ladder safety as you plan your task.  Take precautions to eliminate risks.

While this homeowner was unlucky to have fallen off his ladder, he was also lucky to have survived a fall from such a height.  Unfortunately, too many people are killed every year from falling off ladders.

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safety barricading

Safety Barricading for the Work Zone

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Safety Barricading

This is a great example of a crew doing the safe thing: safety barricading. When using lifts for material handling, the workers at this home improvement store block off the work aisle.  This is done so that shoppers cannot get close to them and their work.  This way, a distracted shopper can’t walk into a manlift or get backed into.  And if something fell from the lift, no one could be injured.

How Does This Relate to Our Work?
Training workers on what a safe work zone looks like is the first step in keeping everyone safe within the work zone.  All workers have to “buy into” the importance of safety—and then practice it during their shift.  All workers have to know about the potential hazards within their work zone and what safety procedures must be taken to minimize or eliminate those hazards.  From wearing proper PPE to setting up physical barricades as well as warning signs, safety procedures must be followed.  Organize a Daily Safety Huddle so workers begin their shift “Talking Safety” and “Thinking Safety”.  Promote a sense of teamwork towards safety to encourage cooperation among workers.  Companies that provide a safe work environment benefit from having a happy, healthy and motivated workforce.

—  When the work site is in public, it is crucial to barricade the work perimeter to keep other workers and pedestrians away from potential danger. 
—  This store uses signs and physical barriers to make sure no one can enter.
—  Even when your work site is barricaded properly, continue to remain alert and keep observing your surroundings.
—  Plan ahead when you know the work site is in public to make sure you have all the barricading and signage required to keep the work zone a safe zone.
—  Always keep your work zone organized and free of clutter and tripping hazards.


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Chock and Don’t Roll

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This is an example of practicing safety at all times. I noticed that this delivery truck had its wheels chocked. I asked the driver why he had the tires chocked when the truck was parked on perfectly level ground. He explained that it was company policy to set the chocks no matter what the incline was that the truck was parked on. That way, the driver never has to decide if the incline creates a risk of movement. Their trucks are ALWAYS safe.

This illustrates the maxim, “Better to be safe, than sorry”. Always practice safety—even when it appears to not be necessary. There was an incident where another delivery driver to a construction site pulled up and got out of his truck and left his hard hat on the seat. Someone 20 stories up dropped a tape measure which struck the driver and killed him. He assumed he’d be safe without his hard hat and in a split second he was dead. When working in public, always remember to barricade the work zone, as this driver also did correctly.


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Bullet Communications, Inc.
200 S. Midland Ave. | Joliet, IL 60436 | U.S.A.
Tel: 815.919.4861 | Fax: 815.741.2805
E-Mail: info@dailysafetyhuddle.com

Safety Topics Covered

Ladder Safety - LOTO - Confined Space - Trench Safety - Crane Safety - Fall Protection - PPE - Fuel Tank Safety - Eye Safety - Work Zone Safety - Chemical Safety - Forklift Safety - Electrical Safety - Pinch Points - Ergonomics - Material Handling - Tool Safety - Health & First Aid - Machine Guarding - Lifting & Back Health - Transport Safety - Hearing Protection - Respiratory Safety - Workplace Violence - Fire Safety - Chocking & Blocking - Walk/Working Surfaces - Hazard Communications - Bloodborne Pathogens - Flammable Liquids - Propylene Cylinders - Loading Dock Safety - Emergency Evacuation - Driving/Spotter Safety - Scaffolding Safety - Fatigue - Underground Utilities - Drum Labeling - Welding Safety - Hand Protection - Heat Stress - and more...