Unloading trailers at construction sites pose many safety risks

Among the many hazards that construction workers in Nebraska face are those associated with the unloading of trailers. There are endless numbers of deliveries to construction sites throughout every shift, each posing unique hazards. No load comes without risks, and employers owe it to their workers to plan appropriately for every shipment that arrives.

Various building materials, equipment, tools and other products come to job sites on trailers. Proper planning and preparation for the unloading of each trailer can save time and money spent on injured workers.

Matters to consider

If you were one of the construction workers charged with unloading trailers, you would want to see your employer consider the following:

  • The delivery truck driver: Does the driver know the times at which to deliver loads, where to enter the construction site and the speed limits on the site? Your employer should communicate with the supplier who must pass on instructions about personal protective equipment, potential hazards and any other issues to delivery truck drivers.
  • The load: Planning and preparation for unloading include knowing what is on the trailer and having the appropriate tools and equipment ready to ensure employee safety.

Communication with the driver and the workers involved in the unloading is a crucial part of the preparations and planning.

Typical unloading hazards

There is an endless list of potential dangers you might face during the process of unloading trailers. While each load may pose unique hazards, you might avoid injuries if you learn more about the following common risks and take the necessary precautions to stay safe:

  • Caught-in or between hazards: Be cautious whenever heavy equipment is present, to avoid being caught or trapped between it and another object.
  • Slip or trip-and-fall hazards: These dangers exist whenever you climb on or off the trailer, and random packing material, straps and chains can cause you to trip and fall.
  • Struck-by hazards: This is the most common cause of injuries during unloading of trailers. Both the load and unloading equipment can cause severe struck-by injuries.
  • Pinch-point hazards:  An endless list of pinch points exist when lifting objects during the unloading process and also during the stacking or placing of the materials on the job site.

Know your rights

If you suffer injuries during the unloading of building materials from a trailer, it is crucial to get the necessary medical care promptly. The next thing to do is to report the injury to your employer to get the wheels rolling for a workers' compensation benefits claim. This could be a daunting process to navigate at a time when you would instead focus on recovering and returning to work.

Fortunately, help is available. An attorney who has experience in dealing with the Nebraska workers' compensation system can work on obtaining compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages on your behalf.

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