Lift gates are useful in moving heavy or awkward material in and out of trucks. They take out much of the manual labor that might lead to a sprain or strain. However, they can be very dangerous if not used correctly. Injuries from lift gates can include crushed feet or amputated fingers and toes. Additionally, some injuries occur when the load is unsteady and falls during the move.
General safety tips for lift gates:
- Stay within the rate load capacity and never exceed
- Only use the lift gate for lifting or lowering cargo and never people
- All body parts should be clear of the lift gate as well as all paths of travel when in use
- Be especially alert to the area between the lift gate and truck as this is a wide shear or pinch point when the lift gate is in motion
- Safety cones should be set out to block the work area when unloading or loading
- Truck flashers and safety lights should be used to mark edges of lift gate
- Be aware of and follow any warning or caution labels
- Gate should be in upright position and secured before moving the truck
- Ensure the lift gate is clean and dry and provide extra securing with ratchet straps and chocks if needed
- Forklifts should never be driven onto the lift gate
Like any other piece of automated equipment, it is important to know how to safely operate a lift gate before using it. Each lift gate will come with an instruction manual that should be read and followed in addition to these general guidelines. Only employees that are familiar with the equipment and that have been trained should operate the lift gate.