You probably know the hazards that are associated with opening a tractor trailer door where the load has shifted. Drivers have been severely injured and even killed when, after opening the door, the load spills out of the trailer.

It never hurts to go over safety procedures with your drivers, particularly if they are new to the operation.

With a swing-type door do the following:

  • Face the trailer, standing to the right of the door, then place your right hand on the door latch.
  • Stay to the left of the door as you open the door latch.
  • Pull the latch toward you.
  • Maintain a safe distance while slowly opening the door. Check to see if the goods have moved.
  • Peer inside to make sure nothing slid against the door.

It’s a good idea to always use flags when checking the door, so that you will have a clear zone. You may also want to equip drivers and truck unloading crews with a trailer door safety strap to apply to both swinging doors. Explain to your driving team they should never park downhill. Also, as per above, stress to drivers that they should stand to the side rather than in front of the opening door.