Loading Unloading - National Safety Council

Loading and Unloading

3% of Non-roadway Fatalities*

This common workplace situation involves handling cargo or a load from a point of rest to or from a means of transportation, such as railroad cars, trucks, ships, etc. This work may also involve moving and storing materials or products. Workers involved in loading/unloading often utilize physical labor, forklifts and overhead cranes. They also commonly work around conveyor systems and other methods of conveyance.**

The information in each section below is listed in the order of relevance to the hazardous situation.


Situational risks – inherent to the situation or proximate cause of injury
  • Fall to lower level
  • Crushed by moving load
  • Struck by vehicle
  • Struck by machinery or equipment
  • Pinning risk
Systemic risks – contribute to injury but are not direct causes
  • Lack of workplace awareness
  • Improper load storage
  • Improper lifting techniques
  • Lack of training
  • Fatigue
  • Improper machine operation
  • Uneven terrain
Relevant Technology Solutions

* Safety Technology 2020: Mapping Technology Solutions for Reducing Serious Injuries and Fatalities in the Workplace

**Office of Administrative Law Judges

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