What is the issue and how do we reduce the risk?
This Q&A has been produced to help Tipper Truck Drivers and their wider organisations reduce the risk of Tipper Trucks Tipping Over.
Scope of the problem:
Tipper trucks are vehicles that carry loads or commodities in a bin or tray where one side or end will lift high enough to let the loads slide or tip out.
Unloading a tipper truck can be a quick process and this task can be undertaken with a large amount of load. However, during this tipping action, there is a risk of entirely tipping the vehicle over.
Accidents and dangerous situations occur frequently because drivers of tipping vehicles fail to follow safe operating procedures. This can result in the death or serious injury of the driver and/or others.
In addition to the potential danger to life, if safe working practices are not maintained the vehicle and surrounding property may be severely damaged in the event of an accident.
This paper was developed in order to educate industry members, and the wider community, on the risks of tipper trucks tipping over.
The risk of tipping over such vehicles is further complicated as:
- they are often used off-road (e.g. construction sites), on ground that may not be level or stable;
- during the unloading process, any lateral slope on the ground may cause the bin to tilt over to one side, shifting its centre of gravity closer to the point where it could topple;
- if unstable ground also allows the wheels on one side of the vehicle to sink, this increase the lateral tilt; and
- some products, such as wet soil, may not completely slide out of the bin; remaining material at the top of the bin will increase the risk of toppling.
Tipping over is dangerous for nearby people and the driver, as well as putting equipment at risk of damage. Unfortunately, incidents are common.