Cargo handling is a crucial aspect of any industry. Your workers need to load and unload materials safely so that no harm is done to the goods or people working nearby. It used to be a manually driven activity, however, that is changing and is now automated to quite an extent. Shipping personnel should consider a few factors while loading goods and equipment.
Understanding the necessary safety features and using the material handling equipment properly are two ways of ensuring the safe handling of cargo on ships. Let us look at 6 safety measures for secure loading operations:
Ensure that the Load is Stable
- First and foremost, you need to ensure that the load is secured properly and is stable. Check for damages in the load before you move them
- When you are transporting the loads, they should be tilted back with the forks sitting low to increase truck stability
- Position the loads correctly across both the forks
- Don’t lift or move loads that are unstable or unsafe. Check all the overhead objects before you lift or stack them
- Securing measures such as bindings and ropes must be employed. Use industrial weighing scales to weigh the loads before you move and secure them
Examine Equipment Before Use
- Conduct a routine check of all the equipment before using them. For example, check for brake faults, controls, steering, tires, warning devices, etc.
- Notify the management if you find any problem and do not use the equipment till it is repaired or replaced
Don’t Handle Goods in Poor Visibility Conditions
- If there is poor visibility, do NOT handle the cargo
- Poor visibility can arise from a number of conditions such as weather change, improper lighting in the workspace, etc.
- Handling goods in such conditions can lead to accidents or damage the cargo
Use Lifting Equipment Properly
- Generally, handling the cargo includes lifting equipment such as wire ropes, forklifts, hooks, cranes, etc. You need to make sure that all such equipment is tested and well-maintained according to the necessary rules and regulations.
- Ensure that the operators use the equipment exactly the way they are supposed to be used as the incorrect use of lifting equipment can jeopardize the lives of people working in and around the loads
- It is important that you check the cargo as soon as it arrives. Inspect its physical condition, whether the goods have been damaged in any way or not. Check if any equipment has been repaired in the past —if it was, ensure that the repair did not compromise the original quality, strength and integrity of the equipment
- Check if the goods container is clean or not. Inspect if it is weatherproof and odor-free, if there are any leakages and whether the doors are locked properly to prevent dust entry.
- Ensure that the container is fitted with cargo restraint devices and whether they are in good condition or not
- Lastly, check the weight of the container using truck scales or belt scales once all the inspections are completed
- Avoid bumps, uneven surfaces and slippery routes while loading and transporting goods
- Look out for loose ground objects as they could cause the load to move around or lose control over the equipment
- Alert your colleagues and pedestrians by using the horn when you turn around a corner to avoid a collision.
- Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles to ensure that you can stop safely if they move in an unpredictable manner.
Following these tips can significantly improve the safety of the cargo handling process. It is important to have a clear idea of how to maintain and enhance safety at every stage.
Kevin Hill heads the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Besides his day job, he loves to write about the different types of scales and their importance in various industries. He also writes about how to care for and get optimized performance from different scales in different situations. He enjoys spending time with family and going on camping trips.