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Flat Deck Safety Tips All Truck Drivers Should Know

- by Christina Hryniuk

Truck drivers are exposed to risks of injury that are often preventable, however workplace injuries do happen and they land you in the hospital. It may seem like common knowledge for the tips below, but some may need a reminder.

Slips, trips, and falls

Last year 97 Manitoba truck drivers fell off a non-moving vehicle. Over 5 years, roughly 500 people in the industry fell as well. In fact, the single biggest cause of falls from a vehicle is driver error and failure to follow the 3-point contact rule.

Here is a refresher on how to stay clear of workplace injuries.

Explain dangers

Be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are working on ramps, gang planks without skid- or slip resistant surfaces, dock boards, dock plates, construction plates, running boards, and ladders.

Remember that metal is slippery because of its lower force of friction and traction. Metal surfaces such as running boards, platforms on equipment and ladders, can become smooth and slippery with wear.


Identify controls

When you are working around a flat deck truck there are some key things to be mindful of. For one, make sure to clean your shoes/boots of any mud, snow, ice, or grease. You will also need to make sure the running boards, treads, steps, footholds, and platforms are clean and dry.

Other things to do:

  • Have a secure grip on the handhold before stepping up.
  • Don’t climb down with something in your free hand. Put it on the floor and reach for it when you are on the ground.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and any obstacles around you.

When you are mounting and dismounting maintain 3-point contact while getting on and off the equipment until you reach the ground, cab, or stable platform. This means one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot must always be on the equipment.

It may seem obvious, but don’t jump down when getting off the bed of your truck or other part of the equipment. Carefully step down while facing the equipment.


Roadside Safety

You must stay vigilant on the road because its likely that a non-commercial driver will be distracted by either their phone, eating, drinking, or in a rush. So, it’s vital to remember to avoid tarping or re-securing loads on the side of the road. Rest stops and parking lots are more suitable to make sure your load is secured correctly.

When on the road, remember to use your high-visibility outerwear. The more visible you are, the less likely it will be for you to become a victim of distracted drivers.

Securing loads

Making pre-trip inspections may seem tedious but necessary. You shouldn’t just go through the motions when doing a pre-trip inspection because you will overlook something such as a worn tie-down or bungee that’s about to break. This will harm you or people around you.

Secure your load with a heavy tarp, tie down straps, and/or bungee cords. If you use bungee cords, be sure to hook them facing away from the tarp.

Safety is important to RPM. This post wasn’t to have you make any ground breaking revelations but bring these simple guidelines forward for you to be mindful on the road.

For more tips, information, or to register to one of our courses, or inquire about safety certification for you or your company, contact us today.