5.7 – Checklist – Make sure you understand safe work practices when loading and unloading a vehicle

Multiple deaths and injuries occur each year in Australia as a result of incorrectly loading and unloading trucks.

The following principles and actions are designed to prevent such events.##reword

The load restraint guide makes a number of suggestions with respect to loading and unloading.


Plan to take into account the load, vehicle and equipment characteristics.

  • Loading plan
    • Load stacking and placement arrangement
    • Use appropriate loading equipment.
    • Use the appropriate load restraint equipment and methods.
  • Unloading plan
    • Check your load for movement or stability before removing restraints and unloading.
    • Use appropriate equipment for unloading.
  • Documentation. Document an appropriate loading and unloading procedure and load restraint system that is displayed and easily accessed by packers, loaders, drivers and other parties in the supply chain.
  • Use loading, unloading and load restraint diagrams for different types of loads to support safe and compliant loading.
  • Use a template that requires the person in control of packing or loading the goods to verify the accuracy of any records.


  • Make sure everyone understands.
  • Train all people on the loading and unloading site according to their role.
  • Include loading and unloading exclusion zones in site inductions.

Work execution

Clarify who has authority.

  • The loader has authority over the activity and directs the truck driver or others to make sure the activity is safe.
  • The loader and the truck driver discuss how the loading and unloading will occur.
  • Plan escalation procedures should there be disagreements.

Separate equipment and people.

  • Establish the following zones:
  • Loading and Unloading Exclusion Zone. No people or other equipment can enter this area. Mark the area with fences, witches’ hats, electronic sensors, barriers or similar.
  • If the driver is present establish a driver safety zone, to allow line of sight between the loader and the truck driver so that the driver can observe the loading or unloading.

Include additional measures.

  • good layout of the area to maximise visibility.
  • additional spotters observing the activity.
  • site-specific measures, especially for complex sites.


Check there is fit-for-purpose communication between the loader and the truck driver.

  • This includes hand signals, two-way radio, talking, etc.
  • Maintain line of sight between the loader and the driver.
  • If broken, the loader immediately stops and waits until the line of sight is re-established.
  • Stop work if people enter the Loading and Unloading Exclusion Zone.
  • The Loading, Unloading Exclusion Zone (LUEZ)
  • Guidelines provide more information on this topic.
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