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Safe Work Procedures: Safely Open a Swing Door

2016-12-05_11-34-53Swing doors are often used in the trucking industry, as most trailers are equipped with those types of doors. The doors are straightforward and easy to use, but they can still cause a significant number of injuries.

Drivers are exposed to the risk of injury when a load shifts during travel and happens to be pressing up against the door from the inside. Once the driver releases the latch, the door can forcefully swing open and strike the worker, or material could fall on the worker and injure him or her.

It should be noted, that the instructions below are for a specific type of swing door. There are variations in swing doors, including other types of doors, so an employer will have to make sure that the instructions are suitable for the type of equipment used at their site.

Instructions for opening a trailer’s swing doors

Step 1 Check to ensure that the path in which the door travels is clear.
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Step 2 Look at the doors to make sure that they are properly latched and are not bulging as that means the load has shifted and is leaning against the doors.

If the doors are not properly latched or are bulging, stop and ask for assistance.

Step 3 Stand facing the doors and position yourself on the path the door travels. Place your feet slightly apart, and with arms extended partially release the latch.

If any tension is felt on the door, do not open the latch. Stop and ask for assistance.

Step 4 Open the door carefully and look to ensure there is no material leaning against the inside of the door. If it is clear, open the door and secure it to the anchor point.

If material is leaning against the door, stop and ask for assistance.

If the door swings open forcefully, step away. Do not try to catch or close it.

If cargo falls from the trailer, step away. Do not try to catch it.

Step 5 Check to ensure there is no material leaning up against the inside of the other door. If it is clear, open the door and secure it to the anchor point.

If material is leaning against the door, stop and clear it before opening the door.

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