The dangers tractor trailer drivers face on the road are well known: from fellow motorists, hazardous weather conditions, and mechanical difficulties that could lead to an accident. However, truckers aren’t necessarily safe once they reach their destination. At warehouses, docks or construction sites, drivers are exposed to struck-by, crushed-between, and other safety hazards.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 96 fatalities in truck transportation occurred in Midwestern states from 2015 to 2017. Thirteen of those fatalities appeared to be related to coupling (attaching) and uncoupling (detaching) trucks from the rig.
Thus, OSHA is teaming with the trucking industry to raise awareness of these hazards, and help prevent serious and fatal injuries. The agency and the trucking industry have developed a new flier that addresses the three most common hazards: parking, backing up, and coupling and uncoupling vehicles. Important steps include training workers to: park vehicles on level ground, set the emergency brakes, and place wheel chocks between the tandem wheels of the trailer to prevent the vehicle from rolling; and get out of the vehicle, and look for people and other obstructions before backing up.
Visit OSHA’s Trucking Industry webpage for information on other industry hazards.