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OSHA - OSHA and the trucking industry

image Joann Natarajan, Compliance Assistance Specialist, OSHA, Austin, TX

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Safety is just as important once a truck reaches a destination as when it is on the open road. Companies should communicate operating procedures to keep workers safe, whether at the warehouse, dock, or construction site.






•    Park on level ground and close to the receiving door or site
•    Set and test brakes
•    Place wheel chocks between the tandem wheels of the trailer
•    Do not attempt to stop a rolling vehicle

Backing Up
•    Get Out And Look (GOAL)
•    Use flashers, horn, and backup alarms and check both mirrors
•    Roll down windows to hear
•    Know the vehicle’s blind spots
•    Use a spotter
•    Back up slowly
•    Stand clear when opening doors for unloading

Coupling and Uncoupling
•    Only trained workers should perform this procedure
•    Ensure stable footing when releasing the fifth wheel or adjusting tandems
•    Wear bright visible clothing
•    Set parking brakes and perform tug test
•    Keep clear of tires and frames
•    Check for vehicular traffic near you

    OSHA is preempted by Section 4(b)1 of the OSH Act from enforcing its regulations if a working condition is regulated by another Federal agency.
For example:
•    While traveling on public highways, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has jurisdiction. However, while loading and unloading trucks, OSHA regulations govern the safety and health of the workers and the responsibilities of employers to ensure their safety at the warehouse, at the dock, at the rig, at the construction site, at the airport terminal and in all places truckers go to deliver and pick up loads.
•    While operating at an airport, if there is an operational plan negotiated between the carrier and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that covers a working condition, then the FAA has jurisdiction.
    Due to the Department of Transportation (DOT)  brake regulation, OSHA does not cite for failure to chock trailer wheels if the vehicle is otherwise adequately secured. DOT’s regulation preempts enforcement and DOT has jurisdiction. However, if the vehicle is an intrastate truck, OSHA has jurisdiction. Only another Federal agency may preempt OSHA’s jurisdiction.
    The OSHA Whistleblower group does have jurisdiction under the Surface Transportation Assistance  Act of 1982 (STAA). This Act provides protections for private sector drivers and other employees relating to the safety or security of commercial motor vehicles. Coverage includes all buses (for hire), hazardous material vehicle placarded and freight trucks with a gross vehicle weight of at least 10,001 pounds.  More information on anti-discrimination protection can be found at https://www.whistleblowers.gov

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