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4 Flatbed Truck Safety Risk Factors You Should Not Ignore

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018
flatbed truck safety with the Deckmate Ladder from Gateway Supply

Falling from a flatbed truck can cause serious injuries. Many companies don’t have an effective flatbed safety strategy, or even carry proper fall protection equipment for drivers until after an injury has already occured. There are four major factors that increase your risk of a potential fall from a flatbed truck or trailer that you should know about.

Small work areas

Flatbed trailers are often parked very close to one another. Usually, you will find only a few feet to work in while moving and arranging loads. This small area restricts your movements when you are trying to secure equipment or items to your bed. Trying to tie down a tarp in this limited workspace will increase your risk of falling, as well as many other injuries.

Unsafe surfaces

You may find yourself having to walk on the flatbed to secure your load. An uneven or wet part of the decking can easily cause you to slip or even fall from the trailer. Walking on the surface of the trailer is one of the most dangerous activities you can encounter. When you combine the act of walking on the surface with climbing up and down the trailer, you greatly increase your chance of injury.

Working with loads of different shapes

Flatbed trailers are used for loads that do not fit into vans or trailers or those that require being loaded from the top or side. These items often come in different shapes and are difficult to secure to the bed of the flatbed trailer. Long pieces of wood or steel are common loads for these trailers, as well as most machinery.

Once you’ve covered these types of equipment with a tarp, it can be hard to know where you’re stepping. Sometimes loads shift during transport and create empty spaces you are not aware of, or the load is uneven, making stepping onto it dangerous. If you step into a gap or onto an item that shifts, you are at risk for a serious fall.

Climbing up and down on a flatbed trailer

Climbing onto and off of your flatbed trailer can be dangerous for many reasons. If you are using the tires to climb, these can be slippery or too high to reach efficiently. When dismounting, you may be tempted to jump down from the trailer, but this is one of the biggest risks for truck drivers. If the trailer is too high, you can cause joint and bone damage, or slip and get an even worse injury.

What happens when you fall from a flatbed trailer?

Falling from a flatbed trailer can cause you to lose valuable work time. Most falls require medical attention and can even lead to hospitalization. These falls could lead to lawsuits, hospital bills, and even loss of income. It is better for drivers and their companies to stay safe by providing proper equipment, rather than deal with these issues.

One way to improve safety with flatbed trailers is to use portable safety ladders, like the Deckmate Ladder. This trailer safety tool can attach to either existing rub rails or bolt-on rails. Other safety features include non-slip grips, a support bar, and a durable steel construction. This ladder has been approved by the Department of Labor for accident prevention and is used in many industries, including the U.S. military and railroad companies.

Looking to improve your flatbed safety?

Gateway Supply in Pampa, Texas is the U. S. Distributor of the Deckmate Ladder. This ladder will ensure safe operations when moving loads on flatbed trailers and prevent injuries from jumping off trailers, heavy equipment, or vans. Call us today at (806) 665-7990 to find out how you can make this ladder a part of your safety equipment solutions. You can also Contact Us by email to find out more about our Products.