Accident Advisory Against Fallen Goods From Container
A forklift driver was inspecting goods that were inside a container on the 22 of November 2018 around 7.20pm. The goods had just arrived at the common area of an industrial building. At the time of his inspection, a pallet full of rubber sheets fell onto him. The forklift driver was unconscious and was later pronounced dead at the accident scene by medical personnel.
These kind of accident are very unfortunate as they can be prevented if everyone adopts this recommendation in their workplace. The person in control of similar workplaces and work activities, such as occupiers and employers are strongly advised to consider the below recommendation.
1. Ascertain the contents
Before opening the door of a container, ascertain that the contents inside the container and how they have been packed by referring to the container packing plan and/or checking with the supplier.
Ensure that all workers are properly briefed of the possibility of goods that may have moved or toppled over during the course of transit and the how likely are these goods falling on them when opening the container’s door.
2. Establish a safe work procedure
Establishing a safe workplace procedure (SWP) for the inspection of goods inside a container. The proper steps to follow should be as followed.
- Take a safe position, slowly and gently open one door partially (usually the right door)*
- Check if the good has shifted position during transit
- If it is confirmed to be safe, open the first door fully.
- Check on the contents of the container again.
- If it is confirmed to be safe, open the second door fully (usually the left door)
*To help with the check, do consider holding the container doors to each other using a proper container door-restraint, such as a short safety rope. This will prevent goods from falling out while the first door is partially open. Do note that the safety rope must have enough strength to hold the doors in a partially-opened position and able to hold the force created by any goods resting on the container door.
Workers should have the basic required personal protective equipment e.g: safety helmet, shoes etc for their own protection against falling goods
Workers should be properly trained on the prevention measures as stated in the SWP for checking of goods inside a container while bearing in mind the possibility of heavy goods falling out the moment a container door is opened.
3. Safe Container Packing
Remind the supplier of the goods or the person packing on the requirements for the goods inside the container to be properly secured. If the goods are on pallets, they must be fastened to the pallet. If not, the goods must be properly contained or restrained to prevent the goods from moving or toppling while it is in transit. By doing this, it is significantly reducing the risk of the goods falling out once the container door is opened.
Request for a packing plan from the supplier or the person packing the container. The packing plan should provide information on the contents of the container such as the list of goods, the weight of each item, the arrangement of goods inside the container and how they have been secured to prevent movement and toppling in transit.