container unloading

Being safe with container unloading practices on site is a matter of following the guidelines and adhering to trusted principles.

Even those that have been trained in the field should remind themselves how to be careful in these settings.


Understanding The Container & The Contents

Container unloading practices will span a number of different profiles for warehouses, manufacturers and retailers. Under most conditions, this format will remain the same from one shipment to the next, but there can be variety involved that complicates the exercise. This can span containers that are for dry storage, refrigerated, insulated, open-top, flat rack, double doors or open side. Participants should also be aware of the nature of the materials inside the container. That information will allow them to dictate how they handle the stock and just how fragile the goods may be when transitioning from the truck to their premises.


Safe Travel Route

Regardless of the nature of the stock that is being shifted from point A to point B, the nature of the travel route will play a key role with container unloading practices. Safety is under jeopardy if the truck happens to maneuver and shift to a high degree, compromising the pallets in the process and creating uncertainty once the doors are open. Couriers in this setting have to be sure about the route they are taking and that they are not diverted to dirt or gravel roads where the items could be damaged or shift out of their straps during the travel.


Trained Staff Members Only

It is essential that container unloading practices are overseen by trained and qualified professionals who understand the risks involved in the exercise. When individuals decide to put their hand up and help out without this degree of certification, there is a greater likelihood that they will make some grave errors. This is where injuries are sustained, placing men and women in positions where they are not qualified while placing themselves and others in harm’s way.


Unload Via Even Surface & Uncluttered Space

One of the real challenges with container unloading practices is not the how or who, but where? By setting down the container on an even surface that is not surrounded by clutter and interference, professional participants are able to control the process from start to finish. People and vehicles need to be able to maneuver freely in this type of space and locations that are heavily built-up will only create needless obstacles that could lead to a workplace accident.


Right Level of Equipment & Resources

Although it is helpful to have human labour involved with container unloading practices, this is an exercise that is perfected with the right types of tools and resources. The best practitioners in this field will utilise a forklift, a conveyer belt, a self-offloading trailer and any other type of utility that can support the process. For the sake of balance and load management, it is impossible to expect individuals to maneuver these goods with nothing more than a trolley or pulley system.


Diligence With The Door & Seal

Even with all of experience and resources on hand with these types of practices, the opening of the door and the loosening of the seal is the final stage that requires consideration. If the seal is broken, that should be a red flag for participants before stepping a comfortable distance behind the truck. The door should open outwards, giving two individuals the chance to step back if there are loose pallets that fall out immediately.

The most important element that should be consistent with all container unloading practices is being patient with the process. Even under immense time pressure, there have been too many case studies where operators have rushed the activity and put themselves and others in jeopardy. Follow the correct protocol and work with team members to keep the stock and the staff safe.