Flatbed truck drivers have a dangerous job driving on America’s highways everyday. But this is not the only danger drivers encounter. Covering a load with a tarp may sound like a simply task, but it can lead to injury and often death.
Many truck drivers think nothing of walking all over their load to spread a protective tarp. But that can be dangerous since a load can create an uneven or shifting walking surface. Also, tarps can be heavy and unwieldy. This is a prime example of a situation that makes fall prevention the ideal choice.
Flatbed trailers are perfect for carrying heavy, oddly shaped or oversized loads. This is what makes them appealing to shippers. A flatbed load may need tarping because items could come loose and blow off the truck or some shipments could be damaged by road gravel and flying debris. Inclement weather can damage certain shipments like drywall and plasterboard, or create watermarks on aluminum or steel, and warp plywood. About 60% of all flatbed shipments requiring tarping, so there’s a definite need for fall prevention.
You might be asking yourself, “What should my company do to prevent flatbed tarping injuries?” First, it’s realizing the risk to your workers’ lives and the impact it could have on your company if a worker fell. Make changes NOW. Don’t wait until there’s a fatality to evaluate tasks. Also remember, every time a truck drives onto your business property, you’re held accountable for the safety of the individuals loading your products onto their flatbed.
Flatbed fall prevention comes in two forms. The first is trailer tarping platforms that allow drivers to work above the flatbed on sturdy aluminum platforms that have side guardrails and non-skid surfaces. When the flatbed is positioned between two tarping platforms, an operator can use a remote to sandwich the trailer between the two platforms by adjusting them horizontally. These safety features ensure fall prevention by allowing drivers to inspect loads, tarp flatbeds and perform other job duties.
Choices allow you to customize these platforms to meet your company’s specific needs:
• Fixed position or rolling designs.
• Single or double-sided systems.
• Optional canopy for protection against inclement weather.
• Optional swing gates for an extra level of fall prevention.
The second, and ideal, safety solution for tarping a flatbed is an overhead tarping system. This is the better of the two scenarios because with this system the driver’s feet remain on the ground at all times so falls from heights are not an issue.
The overhead system has an electric motor that drags the tarp over the length of the flatbed. No personnel need to climb on the load. All the operator has to do is connect the tarp to the spreader bar and then guide the bar along the length of trailer using a hand-held control. An overhead tarping system is versatile enough that it can be added to an existing structure or designed as a freestanding unit to meet specifications for each unique business. It’s simple to use and needs only one operator.
Flatbed fall prevention in the form of an overhead tarping system or tarping platforms saves lives, time, manpower, and money while reducing ergonomic injuries and eliminating falls from a flatbed. Don’t wait until there’s an accident to think about fall prevention. Contact Carbis today and see how we can help keep your employees safer and more productive.