Dump trucks are standard in areas close to construction sites or quarries. Dump trucks are essential to the construction process by transporting materials to building sites. These multipurpose heavy-duty trucks transport large volumes of loose materials such as dirt, sand, ores, gravel, and more.
Unfortunately, dump trucks can also be dangerous, especially in tip-over accidents. Over the past few years, dump truck accidents have steadily risen, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported, and can cause severe injuries and death.
What Makes Dump Truck Accidents Dangerous?
In 2019, dump trucks accounted for 8 percent of all fatal accidents involving large trucks and buses. These trucks were involved in more than 6000 crashes that resulted in severe injuries during the same year.
A dump truck can become dangerous when there is instability or unevenness during the dump. The Texas Department of Worker’s Compensation (TDI) mentions how this can occur in many ways below:
Stability of the Truck End Dump
When the back-end box carrying the materials in the truck is raised, the truck’s center of gravity can become unbalanced. The lack of stability on these trucks during unloading can increase the chances of a tip-over accident.
In addition, the truckload can be packed unevenly, furthering the chances of a tip-over accident. Sometimes the truck driver may need to unload on uneven ground or slopes. This may cause the load to not flow appropriately during dumping, increasing danger for the driver and those around the truck.
Wheel Stability and Mechanical Factors
The truck’s stability may also be compromised if the back wheels settle unevenly while dumping. Finally, mechanical factors can also contribute to the dump truck’s stability. Some mechanical factors include poor suspension, uneven tire pressure, and worn or inadequate components in the lifting system.
How to Prevent Dump Truck Accidents
How can you prevent dump truck accidents? The TDI has recommended several tips you could follow to prevent dump truck accidents:
Stick to the Weight Limit
This may seem obvious, but you may be surprised how many people ignore this rule. Ignoring the weight limit increases the chances of an accident as it can tamper with the truck’s stability.
Use the Right Type of Truck
The nature of the job will determine the correct type of truck. Note that there are different types of dump trucks, each designed for a specific job.
Lighten the Load
It is best to lighten the load whenever the truck carries poor flowing materials. This will help maintain stability and reduce the chances of an accident.
Check the Ground before Dumping
Before dumping, you should ensure that the truck is on even ground. It would be best if you stayed away from soft, uneven surfaces. Also, always dump away from vehicles and people.
Maintain the truck
Ensure you have a strict maintenance schedule for the truck with regular inspections. Failing to identify malfunctions or damages to the truck can easily lead to injury.
Ultimately, it is the duty of employers and dumps truck manufacturers to enforce federally approved safety procedures to prevent workplace injuries. Workers are entitled to a worker’s compensation claim whenever they sustain an injury while at work.
If a dump truck is involved, the worker may file a claim against the manufacturer for additional damages. Lastly, if the truck was sold in an unsafe condition, the worker can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor.
Therefore, you must adopt adequate safety measures to prevent dump truck accidents. Apart from injury and death, these incidences can result in potential lawsuits.
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