Construction workers should remember that working with and around heavy equipment puts them at risk for struck-by, caught-in, and other hazards. Dump trucks, haulage equipment, and articulating dump trucks pose these hazards as well. In addition, workers should always ensure that they only operate equipment they have been trained and authorized to use.
OSHA Standard 1926.602 covers the requirements for earthmoving equipment such as scrapers, loaders, crawler or wheel tractors, bulldozers, off-highway trucks, graders, agricultural and industrial tractors, and similar equipment.
In addition to ensuring all crew members are highly visible on site, it is extremely important to hold regular safety meetings to remind heavy equipment operators, ground crew and managers the safety requirements when working on or near heavy equipment, including dump trucks. The points below should be covered during the safety meeting.
- Dump trucks, their operators, and personnel standing or working nearby are at risk during dumping operations.
- When the bed is raised, there is an increased chance of the truck tipping, especially when driving over uneven or soft ground.
- Always clear the areas around the dumping site and have the operator lower the bed as soon as possible.
- Operators must always watch for potential overhead power lines before raising the bed!
- Operators must be protected during loading operations by means of a canopy or cab shield.
OSHA Standard 1926.601(b)(6) says that all haulage vehicles, whose pay load is loaded by means of cranes, power shovels, loaders, or similar equipment, shall have a cab shield and/or canopy adequate to protect the operator from shifting or falling materials.
- Crushing and caught-in hazards are serious! Dump trucks have many areas where caught-in hazards are possible including under the bed, in-between the cab and body, the canopy, or the tailgate.
- If service, maintenance, or other work must be done under a raised bed, the bed must be supported by a device strong enough to support the load.
- Never get under a raised dump bed without safety devices to prevent an incident.
- Personnel can suffer serious injury if allowed under an open tailgate. Depending on the model of truck, the tailgate can weigh nearly half a ton.