Many businesses in Vancouver and Burnaby require there operators to work in trailers for loading and unloading materials and goods. During the onsite/offsite Forklift Training your instructor should spend some time discussing the safety precautions that are needed.
1: ENSURE THE TRAILER IS SUPPORTED.
Extra steps must be taken to secure the trailer if the trailer is spotted (no tractor under the trailer). The front end must be secured with some form off support as the landing gear itself may not be adequate. A proper jack stand support designed for the task would be ideal. You should also consider some form off acceptable support at the rear of the trailer as most trailers have rear wheels that move forward and backwards depending on the weight and placement of the load.
2: BLOCK THE TRAILER WHEELS.
Before entering the deck or trailers of trucks, make sure the rear load wheels are blocked (chocked) and the brakes are set to prevent any rolling when you enter.
3: INSPECT THE TRAILER DECK.
Always get off your forklift and inspect the deck of the trailer before driving on it. Inspect it for holes, cracks, rot or any other sign of weakness. DO NOT drive your forklift onto the deck if you find any of these things. Forklifts are heavy machines, they have and will fall through a weak deck.
4: CHECK THE DOCK PLATE (BOARDS)
Always check and inspect that the bridge plates/dock boards are firmly in place, secure and strong enough to support the weight of a loaded forklift. DO NOT EXCEED CAPACITY OF DOCK PLATE!
5: CHECK CLEARENCE.
Make sure your forklift will fit and has the proper clearance for entering and exiting the trailer.
The majority of forklifts have front mounted lights, inspect that they are working properly before entering a trailer. Use dock lights if your lift truck is not equipped with or has faulty lights.
7: AIR QUALITY AND VENTILATION.
The interior of a trailer is a semi-confined space in which dangerous and deadly carbon monoxide or other emissions could gather when using engine powered units. Keep the trailer vented at all times, do not linger inside the trailer with the engine running. Leave the trailer immediately if you feel nauseous, dizzy or develop a headache.
8: CROSS DOCK PLATE SLOWLY AND SQUARELY.
Always cross the dock plate straight on (squarely) and cautiously (slowly) as it can move or slide out of position with any sudden turns and acceleration.
9: AVOID DRIVING ALONG THE EDGE OF A LOADING DOCK.
Prevent hazards and accidents by avoiding driving along the edge of the loading dock. If it MUST be done, do it carefully and cautiously.
Here is a video of how not to unload a trailer.