Every year people are seriously injured or even killed while unloading steel stock from delivery vehicles. The main types of accidents that occur include:falls on and from vehicles (includingfalls when climbing on and off);people being struck by a load duringmechanical handling (for example when using a crane or fork-lift truck). This often leads to the victim falling or being crushed between the load andthe vehicle;people being struck by a load fallingfrom a vehicle or a load movingunexpectedly while on the vehicle;people being struck by vehicles in thedelivery yard, often during reversing;people being injured during manualhandling operations (often when aload is too heavy or sharp or otherwiseawkward);people injuring themselves when jumping off a delivery vehicle.Everyone involved in unloading vehiclesmust take precautions to reduce the risk of accidents happening. This leaﬂet givesdetails of some of the more commonprecautions that need to be taken. Inparticular, unloading should never becarried out unless all the risks have beenassessed, even if this results in a delay until it can be done safely. Such delayscan be avoided through proper planning,communication and co-operation betweensupplier and customer.
Planning for safeunloading
Many of the accidents that occur duringdelivery of materials at customer premisescould be avoided if plans for the unloadingoperation were made at an early stage,ideally at the time an order is placed.When taking an order, the supplier shouldobtain the basic information needed toplan the delivery, such as:What lifting equipment is available onsite (overhead/mobile cranes, fork-lifttrucks etc)?What is the capacity of the liftingequipment on site?Where will unloading take place?What access restrictions apply (maximum size of vehicles etc)? Are there any other specialrequirements? This information, along with details of thematerial to be delivered, can be recordedby the sales team on existing formsmodiﬁed for the purpose. Often thisinformation will need to be providedonly once, ie the ﬁrst time steel issupplied to a particular customer. The supplier and the customer shouldagree on the equipment and systemsthat will be used to ensure the load isdelivered safely. In many cases thisagreement needs to be documented asa
written delivery plan
, taking intoaccount the types of material beingdelivered and the facilities available for
Safe unloading of