Load securement is a big part of the trucking industry, the task also has thousands of variables that make simple instructions difficult. Driver education on proper load securement and safety measures plays a large role in cargo securement. This topic is of such high importance that there is an entire section of the National Safety Code dedicated to it, NSC 10 – Cargo Securement.

1.      Company knowledge.

It is the responsibility of the company to ensure that all involved are familiar with the NSC standard 10. It is also the responsibility of the carrier company to ensure that all drivers are educated and tested in cargo securement standards in how it relates to the type of business they are doing and the type of loads being hauled. NSC standard 10 was revised in 2010 to reflect changes to technology and equipment changes in trucking.

2.      Shipper responsibility.

Companies and drivers do not always control the loading and unloading of freight into or onto trailers. Shippers play a large role in the safety of cargo. Just as companies and drivers, shippers need to be familiar with the cargo securement standard as well as weight and dimension regulations for all configurations in Saskatchewan and all provinces/states between their location and the destination.

3.      Right to refuse.

If a company or driver knows that cargo is not safe – do not take it. Unfortunately, here in Saskatchewan, the driver is the most likely to be financially penalized for securement infractions and fines can be hefty. Choosing to carry unsafe loads, even if loaded by a shipper, puts the driver and every vehicle and person near them at risk.

Helps to prevent: injuries of all kind

4.      General Loading and Unloading

Properly trained staff is key. No one should ever stand underneath a load in any circumstance nor should people stand on trailers during placement or removal of a product. Access to trucks and trailers should be avoided while cargo is being loaded. Gap fills, and load bars should be used to restrict product movement in enclosed trailers. Extremities should be kept away from cargo and trailer during loading and unloading. Do not touch cargo being moved with machines with hands while the cargo is moving.

Helps to prevent: becoming trapped by falling or shifting cargo, crush injury, pinch point injury

5.      Safe Tarping and Strapping/Unstrapping

Although it is not always avoidable, it is not ideal to have people climb on a load to tarp it – use equipment when possible. Boom trucks, cranes or infrastructure can be used to prevent this unsafe practise. Another alternative it to attach a rope with a ball on the end to the strap and throw the ball over the side of the truck. Always make sure the opposite side of the truck is clear before throwing anything.

Helps to prevent: falls, crush injury, musculoskeletal injury to shoulder.

6.      Use of proper equipment

Use telescoping tools to help you pull the straps down from the top of the load and use a power strap winder or drill attached trap winder to save your wrist from repetitive strain and forceful exertion. When using a winch bar, use one that is properly designed for the task. Never release a winch bar without checking the pawl to ensure that it is fully engaged between the ratchet teeth. Releasing a winch bar without the pawl being properly engaged can cause serious injury.  to user or bystanders.

Helps to prevent: hand, face lacerations 

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