Since 2011 NSW has investigated 21 incidents in NSW involving workers unpacking shipping containers. A frightening statistic revealed 3 people that were killed in container unloading. Containers often carry sensitive expensive but most often building materials. Timber, glass, and stone are often the cause in serious incidents but not always the case. Programs, training and unloading advice is readily available but often neglected. If freight isn’t packed with safe unloading in mind, or if it becomes unstable during transit, workers unpacking it can be at risk of serious injury or death.
If you container unload or load, use these simple tips to keep your people safe.
Partner with the right people
This does not only mean when it comes to unload, work with suppliers to ensure the load is appropriately packed for safe transit and unpacking. Ask them to secure freight with wrapping or strapping. Loading the container is often more important than unloading.
What do you need?
Keep looking for risks as you unpack, and adjust your plan as conditions change. Consider what equipment you will need. Choose an area with flat ground and unpack at ground level where possible. Always be careful when opening as contents are likely to shift during transportation.
What is the Best Equipment For The Job?
Use a crane or forklift with attachments such as grabs, spikes or slippers, to avoid manual unloading. Never allow people in or around the container while using machinery to unload.
Safety First When Workers in The Container
Never allow workers inside the container if there is any risk of objects moving and trapping them. Where there is a risk, brace freight with suitably rated restraint devices such as props.
Get Help When You Need It.
And remember, It is a big task, so it’s never too late to ask a professional for container unloading or loading.