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5 Haulage risks reduced

Handling cargo is fundamental for national and international transportation, but it’s plagued with risks and dangerous manoeuvres. Even if most of this activity is now performed with machinery and special vehicles, humans are still involved in all this process. Mistakes can be made, and they can be very costly. Cargo is often huge and weighs hundreds, thousands of kilograms, making its handling risky for workers and crew. However, if all safety measures are responsibly followed, and the staff has access to proper equipment, these risks should be reduced to a minimum.

We have gathered the top 5 causes of accidents with cargo handling. All of these can be prevented with proper safety measures. Here is a brief description of these hazards as well as what measures should be taken in order to protect the lives and integrity of the crew and handling personnel.

If you want to learn more about cargo safety and security measures, you should understand that many problems occur with poorly packaged and secured delivery items. You should also understand when it comes to safety buying origional products instead of the cheaper copies can be of paramount importance. Take the products from Holt jcb, again these are often being ripped off with cheap copies but always use the best if you want your cargo to get to its destination. 

Cargo collapse

When stored in warehouses or ports, or placed on decks, cargo is often piled up and rises many metres above ground level. This allows to concentrate loads in a reduced area, which is very useful for making transportation and storage more efficient and cost effective. However, piling cargo up has a huge risk attached, which is the risk of collapse.

One good way to reduce this risk is to use containers with proper structures. Massive loads are rarely transported without a container. The latest developments in haulage technology include effective designs for piling up cargo. These containers can click together and be easily secured, thus preventing collapses. Deck and warehouse staff should always wear protective gear and be aware of all shelters available in case of a cargo collapse.

Falling cargo

This is similar to cargo collapse, but in this case, we are referring to accidents when cargo falls from above, when lifted with a crane or forklift. Properly secured loads should not fall, and they should be tied tightly with cargo straps and ratchets. You should purchase all these items from GTF instead of using cheaper items, like Chinese imitations, that might be more accessible, but will take less weight and be weaker than good quality straps. The same criteria apply to lines and ropes. If they break, literally tons of load could fall over workers, other vehicles and buildings.

All members of the staff should be warned when cargo is being lifted. They must clear the space and make sure they are not standing on risky ground. Many people have died because they were right beneath falling cargo.

Loose cargo

Cargo isn’t absolutely safe, even when lying on the ground. If it hasn’t been properly packed and secured with straps, some items might roll or flow away. This is more common with liquid cargo or small items like balls or nuts. Cargo can flood the ground and even be dangerous for workers, in example if they are heavy they may injury the staff by hitting them or bouncing around. Leaks of dangerous chemicals are also very risky.

In order to ensure safety all parcels must be properly packed and tied together. One more recommendation I can make in this area is packaging. An accident can cost a lot of money, as well as the health or even lives of many workers.


This is a risk that is linked to cargo and containers but sometimes overlooked. Haulage staff can actually suffocate in some conditions and even die. Their job often involves container maintenance, narrow warehouse work or other situations in which they must remain in a confined space. There is danger of not having enough oxygen and getting dizzy - thus increasing their risk of accidents -, faint and even die. Toxic gases and leaks also add up to the hazard.

Workers must only perform their jobs in confined spaces that have been ventilated under safety guidelines. Also, it is advisable to use oxygen detection devices to ensure the air is safe and there is no suffocation risk.

Food safety

Food is one of the most dangerous types of load to transport. Not because it is harmful itself, but because there are many risks involved specifically with this sort of cargo. In fact, contrary to what most people think, food is the number one cause of haulage robbery and replacement. Also, food requires special protection from water, temperature changes and contamination in order to remain healthy and suitable for consumption. It must be transported in proper containers with the right infrastructure, and the correct functioning of cold chains and isolation must be kept under strict control. One of the compaines we use is fork lifts to load the products at our branch, having products that spoil in the wrong climate and temperature means you cannot hang about you have to get the job done quickly, I find that with the wrong loading equipment we spnt half our time sorting out issues that was not related to the job at hand, again recommended. 

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