Safety with Yard Ramps

With any device involving elevated working, mobile vehicles, heavy loads, lifting etc. safety considerations must always be paramount. Unloading a vehicle mounted ISO container, or truck directly through the rear doors, raises many safety issues. Utilising mobile yard ramps to permit the loading or unloading operation by forklift truck largely eliminates the risks associated with using pallet trucks and having people on the ground in the very restricted working area. However the use of yard ramps can add some additional safety concerns of their own. 

In particular :

  • The front lip of the yard ramp must be correctly located on the floor of the container or truck body and the safety chains must be correctly attached to the vehicle before the ramp is used.
  • Yard ramps can be used in frost and ice although there may be some reduction in grip. The main problem encountered is compressed paper contamination. Common sense should always prevail on the safe efficient condition of the ramp. If there is noticeable slippage then the ramp should not be operated.
  • Yard ramps should only be used on solid ground and never on a significant slope or tilt.
  • Personnel should not use the yard ramp to enter the unloading area when it is being used by forklifts, or unless handrails are fitted to the sides.
  • Yard ramps should not be overloaded beyond their rated capacity.
    When being towed to new locations sensible care should be observed. Although yard ramps are very rugged and designed to be mobile, if they are towed at excessive speeds serious damage can occur to the legs if the wheels encounter either potholes or solid obstructions.
  • Yard ramps should always be checked for obvious damage by the operator before each use. Damaged wheels or legs, or loose decking etc. must always be repaired before further use.
  • For ramps using hydraulic height adjustment, the integrity of the hydraulic system MUST be regularly checked for leakage as well as the level of the hydraulic fluid etc.
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