Tag Archives: workplace 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.  

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unprotected openings in floors or roofs

Unprotected Openings – Cover All Floor and Roof Holes

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Unprotected Openings — A Preventable Hazard.

Workers face many safety hazards on the job.  One of those hazards is falling through dangerous unprotected openings on roofs or floors.  In this incident, a large, unprotected opening was found on the property of an industrial company.  The company was located across the street from several apartment buildings where small children often played outdoors.  To make the unprotected opening hazard even more dangerous, the hole had several inches of water in the bottom.  The opening, which was left uncovered for days, should have been covered immediately and secured until work could resume on the project.

unprotected openings are a preventable hazard


OSHA requires that every unprotected opening into which a worker can accidentally fall into be guarded (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).  Cover or guard floor holes as soon as they are created during construction.  When the cover is not in place, the floor hole shall be constantly attended by someone or shall be protected by a removable standard railing.

—  Construct all floor hole covers so they will effectively support two times the weight of employees, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any one time.
—  Secure coverings for floor and roof openings to prevent accidental removal or displacement.
—  The provision of administrative controls, such as providing an attendant, should not be used in lieu of proper engineering controls such as railings, covers or other protective methods.  Attendance at a floor opening is only intended to provide an oral warning by the attendant to stay a safe distance (preferably) from the opening until a barrier or cover had been placed in position to adequately secure the opening from fall through hazards.
—  Covers shall be secured in place to prevent accidental removal or displacement, and shall bear signage stating: “Dangerous Opening—Do Not Remove.”
—  If you come across a floor or roof with an unprotected opening, alert your supervisor so the opening can be safely protected as soon as possible.

Protecting workers and pedestrians from falling into unprotected openings is a totally preventable hazard.

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Slips, trips and falls safety

Tennis Player Slips and Falls in Locker-Room

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Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 9 million visits to hospital emergency rooms every year (National Safety Council Injury Facts).

In 2015, professional Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard sued the United States Tennis Association after falling on a ‘slippery, foreign and dangerous substance’. The 21-year-old sustained a concussion after slipping and falling backwards injuring her head and elbow in a dark physiotherapy room at the 2015 US Open and is claiming negligence. The lawsuit was filed because of her fall in the locker-room at Flushing Meadows, New York on September 4, when she sustained a severe head injury that continues to hinder her ability to play tennis. Ms. Bouchard says that the cause of her fall – that occurred around midnight after she had completed a mixed-doubles match and then met with the media—was a “slippery, foreign and dangerous substance” that had been left on the floor of the locker-room. The substance involved was not specified in the court papers. The substance was used to clean the floors but was not supposed to be present while players were still using the facilities. Ms. Bouchard was forced to pull out of the U.S. Open and continued to struggle during the 2015 season with dizziness and light sensitivity. Her lawyer believes the lawsuit could be worth millions of dollars because the incident has affected her ability to compete as well as her world ranking.

What Should Have Been Done Differently?
In this case, the locker-room attendant should have verified that all players were done using the locker-room at the end of the day’s matches before beginning to clean the floor. And, the attendant should not have turned the lights off in the locker-room until they were certain no other people would be entering.


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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...