Dump trucks in America have reportedly caused over 80,000 accidents in the US, leaving about 4,000 people dead and more than a 100,000 with trauma. The vehicles are heavy themselves and are also loaded with tons, and hence can result in major injuries in case of accidents. Tip-Overs are the most common type of dump truck accidents.
Following are a few ways to prevent such accidents.
1. NO OVERLOADING
Overloaded trucks usually end up in accidents. When the center of gravity of the box and load does not lie between the frame rails of the unit, there is a risk of tip-over. To prevent that, there should be lesser material in the upper portion when the box is raised and it should not flow out from one or more top portions of the box. If the material is likely to flow, lighten up the load in the top end of the box.
The operator must read the operating manual to know the truck’s load capacity.
Evenly loading the skip and then properly unloading it to create a balance is recommended.
2. HIRING EXPERIENCED OPERATORS:
It is easy to buy a dump truck that is for sale, but the real trick lies in learning how to properly operate it. If you’re allowing inexperienced or untrained workers to handle the dump truck, you are putting the safety of the driver and the people at the job site at risk. According to the truck type, CDL A or CDL B license is to be obtained by the driver. Drivers learn how to safely operate the truck during their training and certification process.
An experienced operator will also load the skip properly and monitor it, thus preventing tip-overs.
Hiring workers who have knowledge about your trucks will work best. You can also train an inexperienced driver by making him work with a trained and experienced professional.
3. PROPER VISIBILITY:
The skip itself causes obstruction in proper vision when backing up the truck. Weather conditions have caused many accidents because visibility is hindered. Dust also contributes to it and regular cleaning is required for preventing accidents that occur due to poor visibility.
A spotter serves the purpose of alerting the driver. It can prevent the driver from backing up into a depression on the road or hitting anything. It uses hand signals and radio communications to alert the driver.
Trucks should have indicators like flashing lights or an alarm to alert the people nearby that they are about to move now.
4. CHECKING TYRES:
Maintenance of the truck must include checking tyres daily as they play an important role in tipping over. Flat tyres or rear tyres with uneven pressure prove to be hazardous because they make the vehicle unstable, therefore pressure must be even in all tyres.
Once a problem in the tyre is detected, it should be addressed as soon as possible and the operator should stop working until it is fixed.
Even settling of the rear wheels is affected while unloading, so the operator must monitor that, too.
5. SUITABLE DRIVING HOURS:
Other than being experienced and having knowledge on the vehicle, the driver must be focused all the time, at any rate. To achieve that, driving hours should be enforced on the employees. Long driving hours can cause tiredness that might result in loss of attention towards driving and the driver might even doze off thus causing a life threatening accident.