Understanding the importance and use of Load Restraints or Tie Downs, fortunately, is NOT Rocket Science. Or is it? If it’s so easy to understand, why do accidents caused by shifting loads occur at all?
If you’ve ever had a job driving a truck, you were taught how to use tie downs like ratchet straps to properly restrain a load or you knew from prior, personal experience; hopefully you DID NOT learn by the seat of your pants!
Unfortunately proper purchase and use of Load Restraints or Tie Downs are often taken for granted by Safety Managers and Company Accountants who look at them as overhead expense. But few other products when mis-used or when NOT USED cause injury, death or product damage quite like cargo control products.
While transporting goods on public highways, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has jurisdiction over proper tie down use. But DID YOU KNOW?, 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, and in all places truckers go to deliver and pick up loads? And who wants to deal with an OSHA inspection or fines?
Proper tie down selection and use is paramount to employee and public safety and pre-empts accidental but fully preventable product damage. OSHA cites the Federal Code of Regulations 49 CFR 393: Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation. Every employer and employee shall comply and be conversant with the requirements and specifications of this part. No employer shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, or cause or permit it to be operated, unless it is equipped in accordance with the requirements and specifications of this part.
Subpart I—Protection Against Shifting and Falling Cargo
393.100 - Which types of commercial motor vehicles are subject to the cargo securement standards of this subpart, and what general requirements apply?
393.102 - What are the minimum performance criteria for cargo securement devices and systems?
393.104 - What standards must cargo securement devices and systems meet in order to satisfy the requirements of this subpart?
393.106 - What are the general requirements for securing articles of cargo?
393.108 - How is the working load limit of a tiedown, or the load restraining value of a friction mat, determined?
393.110 - What else do I have to do to determine the minimum number of tiedowns?
393.112 - Must a tiedown be adjustable?
393.114 - What are the requirements for front end structures used as part of a cargo securement system?
Few industries have as many known Safety Concerns as the Logging Industry, by OSHA’s own account, one of the most hazardous industries in the United States:
Logging for example: (https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/logging/manual/log_loading.html )