Opening and closing trailer doors are two of the leading causes of work-related injuries for truck drivers.
Recognize the HazardsEnvironment: High winds can catch a swinging trailer door while you are holding it and cause back or shoulder strains. The door could also hit you with great force.
Equipment: Cargo could shift in transit and fall on a driver if he or she opens the door carelessly.
Personal Behaviors: Standing in the path of falling cargo, hurrying, failing to use a door strap, and ignoring slip, trip, and fall hazards around the truck are unsafe behaviors that contribute to injuries sustained while opening and closing trailer doors.
Know the Defense:
- Start by stretching your back and shoulders.
- Ensure there are no obstacles or people that could prevent opening the doors.
- Check the wind direction.
- Look for slip, trip, and fall hazards around the trailer.
- Install door straps, if available.
- Stand behind the left-side trailer door and feel the right-side door for pressure from fallen cargo.
- If there is no pressure, open the right-side door enough to peer inside for signs of fallen cargo. Do the same for roll-up doors.
- If cargo has shifted, try to close the door and lock it, then ask for assistance. Do this for roll-up doors also.
- If cargo falls, get away from the area quickly. Do not attempt to catch falling cargo.
- If cargo is secure, open the door completely, and secure it to the side of the trailer. Do not attempt to catch a trailer door if it is caught by the wind.
- Visually inspect behind the left-side trailer door. Do not open the door if fallen cargo is pressing against the door.
- If cargo is secure, open the door and secure it to the trailer.