Sparked by a disturbing number of deaths and injuries in recent years, one of the biggest insurers serving the LBM industry has issued guidelines designed to help dealers' yard crews work safely when they unload vehicles.

"Truck unloading ... is a regular source of injuries to the driver, workers, and visitors," begins the guidelines issued by PLM/ILM--the merged Pennsylvania and Indiana Lumbermens Mutual insurance companies. "At PLM/ILM, we had had numerous losses caused by improper unloading practices. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that they maintain a safe working environment. Forklift operators are also responsible for the safety of others in the unloading area."

The guidelines cover the unloading area and what both truck drivers and forklift operators need to do. An accompanying checklist helps point out potential problems, such as:

  • Is the truck/trailer level?
  • Are wheel chocks in place?
  • Are top-loaded items stable?
  • When unloading, has the driver moved to the company safety zone?
  • When loading, can helpers see the forklift/crane operator?

Click here to download a copy of the guidelines.