In the construction industry, dump trucks play an important role in the transportation of material from one point to another. This equipment is one of the most powerful and effective tools in the transfer of a building supply component in a timely and productive manner. Generally, dump trucks have a bed mounted on the chassis that can be raised with a hydraulic system. Along with the increasing demand for these types of commercial vehicles, there has also been an associated increase in the number of tip-over accidents, most all of which are preventable. Inspect Vehicle Condition - Important components to check are the tire pressure on both sides of the dump truck. Ensure they have equal pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Another element to check is the control mechanisms used to elevate the dump bed, which would include: hydraulic cylinders, suspension system, tailgate lock to name a few. Remember to check the brakes and side mirrors.
Consequently, the increased use of this equipment in the construction industry opens up the possibility of injuries from the vehicle tipping over when it begins to dump its load. The best way to prevent this from occurring is by following certain safety guidelines and procedures.
Dumping Safety Guidelines
Common tip-over accidents happen during the unloading of various materials. This may be due to several factors; however, one certainty is that these accidents can be prevented if operators of these trucks comply with the following measures:
Inspect Ground Capacity - Operators should ensure that the ground is solid and can support the gross vehicular weight (GVW) of the dump truck. A load should not be dumped on a slightly sloped surface since this is often how tip-over accidents occur.
Check Load Distribution and Capacity - The vehicle should not be overloaded and drivers should ensure that the material is evenly distributed in the bed. Extra attention should be paid to wet or sticky material because that tends to lodge in the upper part of the dump bed, leading to instability and the possibility of a tip-over accident.
Check Job Site Area - Operators should inspect the ground for sloping, unevenness, or a soft and muddy surface. Look for parked vehicles and people working near the area that could be affected or injured in case of a tip-over accident. There should be enough work space for the truck to work efficiently and safely.
Back and Dump in Safety - Operators must ensure that all lighting and back-up alarms are in good working condition. They must release the tailgate latch and be completely aware and alert during the entire dumping process.
Wear Seat Belts - Most importantly, seat belts should be buckled up for safety and if the truck appears to be tipping over, avoid jumping out of the vehicle.
Several factors are involved in tip-over accidents when operating this equipment which could result in severe injuries and even fatalities. Most such undesirable events are due to truck overloading, uneven or soft ground surfaces, and faulty mechanisms. All of these risks can be eliminated if operators comply with the safety guidelines that encourage a safe and productive work environment.
These safety guidelines should be given strict attention to prevent tip-over accidents. It is of utmost importance for the operators of these heavy-duty, dangerous trucks to not be irresponsible in the operation of this vehicle. They need to utilize everything available, including training, so they can observe the governmental rules and regulations set forth to keep those dump trucks from tipping over!