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Hazards Of Falling Off Of A Flatbed Semi Truck And Minimizing The Risk

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Nearly one quarter of all flatbed semi truck driver injuries are the result of slips and falls. With the exception of motor vehicle collisions, slips and falls are the most costly type of truck driver accident. Entering and exiting a flatbed semi truck, carrying freight, and regular walking and climbing are several common tasks for truck drivers that present risk of falling. Minimize the risk of falling off of a flatbed semi truck by using a portable ladder that you can store in your truck at all times.

Entering and exiting a flatbed semi truck

More than six percent of truck driver injuries happen while drivers are getting into, on, off, or out of their vehicles. As these tasks are so frequent, this figure doesn’t come as a surprise. Many of these falls occur from a height as high as six to eight feet. Typically these accidents come about when a flatbed semi truck driver jumps out of or off of a cab or trailer. Losing balance while climbing into or out of the cab can also cause an accident to occur.

When you enter or exit a flatbed semi truck, always face the cab and avoid jumping. Use the three-point rule, which means keeping three points in contact with the vehicle at all times. You can either use two feet and one hand or one foot and two hands. If possible, hold onto a door or steering wheel while entering or exiting to maintain balance while transferring your weight.

Carrying freight from a flatbed semi truck

Do you move large freight on a regular basis? Large freight can block a driver’s view, increasing the risk of slipping or tripping. Instead of carrying freight by hand, use a wheeled cart or other appropriate device that won’t obstruct your view. Take small steps and watch out for holes, slopes, raised elevation, and slippery patches.

Regular walking and climbing in and around flatbed semi trucks

Routine maneuvering in and around your flatbed semi truck may not seem risky. However, there are a number of circumstances that can greatly increase the potential for falling hazards. Any time you are operating your flatbed semi truck, wear the right protective equipment. This equipment includes shoes with non-slip soles, and in the winter, gloves for extra support while going up or down slippery stairs. Avoid running at all costs. Use railings as you can for added support. Finally, watch out for rounded surfaces, such as fuel tanks, especially when they are wet or oily.

Minimize the risk of falling off of a flatbed semi truck by using a portable ladder

The best way to minimize the risk of falling off of a flatbed semi truck is to keep a portable ladder like the Deckmate Ladder on the truck at all times. When you have a ladder that folds up and stores right on the truck that is easy to operate, you never have an excuse not to use it.

The Deckmate Ladder is compatible with flatbed trailers as well as dump trucks, semi trailers, reefers, and vans both with and without rub rails. Constructed of steel, it is a heavy duty yet lightweight ladder. Even though it only weighs 20 pounds, this portable ladder has a maximum capacity of 400 pounds. 53 inches long with a folded length of 33 inches, you won’t have any problems finding a place to store this portable ladder on your truck. The ladder features slip resistant steps as well as a support bar and non-pinch hinge design for ensured safety.

You can attach a Deckmate Ladder to any rub rail for safe access, even with uneven surfaces and in windy conditions. If your flatbed semi truck doesn’t have rub rails, you can purchase a bolt-on bracket. The bracket mount is a mere two and a half inches deep. This depth of the bracket helps to avoid interfering with loading docks. With multiple brackets, you have all the access that you could ever need to your loads.

For more information about the Deckmate Ladder and how it reduces risk of injury for flatbed semi truck drivers and other employees, get in touch with Gateway Supply LLC. Since 2005, we have been supplying our ladders to trucking, railroad, power, and oilfield companies and to the United States government, including every branch of the military. Click on the About Us tab to learn more about our company or complete our request form to get the details that you need. You can also talk to our staff directly by calling (806) 665-7990 if you have and questions about our portable ladders.