Loading Powered Industrial Trucks: June 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Q: Does OSHA require inspections of the flooring of trucks, trailers, and railroad cars by Powered Industrial Truck Operators prior to loading and unloading operations?

A: Yes. OSHA states in 1910.178(m)(7) “Brakes shall be set, and wheel blocks shall be in place to prevent movement of trucks, trailers, or railroad cars while loading or unloading. Fixed jacks may be necessary to support a semitrailer during loading or unloading when the trailer is not coupled to a tractor. The flooring of trucks, trailers, and railroad cars shall be checked for breaks and weakness before they are driven onto.”

The condition of the trailer’s floor can severely impact the forklift’s ability to maneuver. Check to make sure the trailer has the weight-bearing capacity to hold the combined weight of its load plus the forklift weight. Also, check the trailer walls and ceilings for damage that could compromise the vehicle’s integrity. Lastly examine the cross members of the undercarriage for missing pieces, excessive corrosion, or permanent deformation.

*Brought to you by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.