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Secure Your Safety When Unsecuring Material

- February 18, 2013 by Glen O'Rourke, ALCM (View all posts by Glen)

Shipments of material arrive at jobs sites and factories every day.  Certain types of material that are not in containers may need to be secured (to a truck/trailer bed, pallet, or similar) for shipment.  If secured, the loads of material will eventually need to be unsecured before use.  If not performed in a safe manner, the unsecuring process might result in a tragic accident.

Pipe secured by metal banding (yellow arrow) while on a truck bed. When this banding is cut, person doing the cutting should stand to the side of the pipe so he will not be struck by piping if it should fall.

Load securing methods may include chains, nylon slings, or metal banding (as described in the linked article).  When loosening chains/slings or cutting metal banding, follow these safe practices:

Before loosening/cutting:

  • Park the truck (if the material is on a truck/trailer bed) or place the pallet (if palletized) on as level a surface as possible.
  • Check to see if the material has shifted during shipment.
  • Take a moment and plan out the loosening/cutting process before beginning and determine what might go wrong and how to prevent any accidents.

During loosening/cutting:

  • If the material is secured at multiple points, starting loosening/cutting from the center and work your way out to each end.
  • When loosening/cutting the end points, stand to the side of the material so that if any falls it will not strike you.

Following these steps can help ensure that there are no mishaps when unloading material.