Tips for Safely Unloading Shipping Containers

When a shipping container arrives at a dock and its clearance is complete, then lumpers or freight unloaders take over. These pros know how to assess the container contents and how to swiftly remove the freight, both methodically and safely. Why is this important? Consider these recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics relative to warehouse accidents:

  • In 2017, the latest year for which warehouse injury statistics are available, there were 22 fatalities at storage facilities and warehouses in the United States.
  • The rate of recordable cases of nonfatal illnesses and injuries for warehouses and storage facilities in 2016 was 5.1 per every 100 full-time employees. This is considerably higher than the average for all industries of 3.2 per 100 full-time employees.
  • This above-average injury rate also severely impacted production days. Work-related injuries that involved missing workdays, working with job restrictions or transfers was 3.7 per 100 full-time employees at storage facilities and warehouses. Again, this was considerably higher than the average of 1.7 per 100 full-time employees for all industries.
  • The top five ways and places for warehouse injuries to occur are loading docks, forklifts, conveyor belts, material storage and manual handling and lifting.

This posting is intended as less a DIY manual than a demonstration of how the experienced teams at Labor Loop approach every on-demand assignment. Let’s be clear. As the sobering statistic above relates, safe and expeditious unloading of shipping containers is not a task for unskilled day labor.  Nor should it fall to existing staffers recruited for the day from office or desk jobs, or even elsewhere in the depot or warehouse. It requires awareness and observance of regulations. That’s why our teams are OSHA-certified. Taking that extra measure of caution is second nature to not only prevent injuries and workers’ comp claims, but to keep operations costs manageable. 

Contact Labor Loop to learn more about on-demand container unloading services.