Trailer Creep

Last updated: March 25, 2024

What Does Trailer Creep Mean?

Trailer creep is the most serious hazard that can take place on a loading dock. It occurs when a trailer gets separated from the dock during the loading or unloading of goods.

Separation between a trailer and the dock occurs due to the motion of a forklift, which may result in serious injury to the forklift driver.

Safeopedia Explains Trailer Creep

The most common causes of trailer creep hazards are the speed of a forklift, the weight of the load, and the improper connection of a trailer. According to data collected from a study conducted from 2002 to 2009, 96 fatal truck-loading incidents have occurred (out of which 11 casualties were due to trailer creep).

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, the use of restraints is mandatory to deter separation while loading and unloading goods. Separation can be reduced in the following ways:

Administrative control: This includes defining and monitoring the actions of forklift and truck drivers, deploying restraint devices, and carefully separating the truck from the dock.

Training: Workers must be trained to avoid the risk of separation. They should be comprehensively trained regarding proper work procedure and the actions that must be immediately taken if they find themselves experiencing trailer creep.

Wheel locks: These are used to lock the wheels of a trailer so that it remains in a fixed position and does not unintentionally move.

Glad-hand locks: These are used to make sure the mechanical brakes of a trailer continue to function even if separation occurs.

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