When Are Wheel Chocks Required?admin
A wheel chock is a simple tool. It is a wedge that sits behind a wheel to remove the potential inertia of a vehicle, generator, truck or trailer. Wheel chocks are used because of the many accidents that have happened over the years resulting in loss of life and property damage.
Knowing when and how to properly use your wheel chocks is critical to avoiding accidents and liabilities. While in some instance you may not be required to chock your wheels. Wheel chocks are a great and economical insurance policy against failure of a braking system or user error.
What are the regulations requiring the use of wheel chocks for my semi-truck or loading dock area?
Two organization regulate wheel chock use. OSHA the (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the FMCSA (The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) a division of the DOT (Department of Transportation are the two administrative bodies that regulate chocking of vehicles. Which regulations pertain to you depend on your occupation. OSHA regulations are in place primarily to protect workers at a loading dock during loading and unloading. The FMCSA regulations pertain to Semi-truck and commercial drivers. Your concerns may be different whether you are a carrier, receiver, or distributor.
What are the Differences Between OSHA and FMSCA Wheel Chock Regulations?
FMSCA 393.4 and other subsections require wheel chocks for all agricultural commodity, pulpwood trailers and heavy haulers. The law may or may not affect your rig or load if you have rigs with air-braked power units. In some cases, FMSCA says that a rig with air-braked power unit does not require wheel chocks during loading and unloading to keep them in place and safe.
Go to the FMSCA website for more info:
OSHA is responsible for the safety of workers, but does not have jurisdiction over commercial carriers (semis and buses). Semis and buses fall under the FMSCA regulations. OSHA regulations do fall over all intrastate motor vehicles operated on non-public roads or a place or work. OSHA will enforce its regulations on all trucks and trailers that are not registered as commercial vehicles. They also require wheel chock use for all concrete mixers, forklifts, loggers, agriculture, sand and gravel haulers . OSHA also enforces its requirements on any trailer that is not considered a CMV, like a detached trailer at a loading dock.
OSHA 1910.178(m)(7) reads: “The brakes of highway trucks shall be set and wheel chocks placed under the rear wheels to prevent the trucks from rolling while they are boarded with powered industrial trucks.”
OSHA 1910.178 complete regulation:
Trailer creep and wheel roll lead to gaps between the loading dock and the un-chocked trailer. In the past this has caused forklifts or workers to fall into the gap. Rolling trailers and trucks have also resulted in fall and crush injuries or fatalities.
In many cases the policy of your workplace or the guidelines of your owner’s manual may be exceed the requirements in type, number or situation of OSHA or the FMSCA. In these cases you should follow those policy and guidelines. It is cheap insurance to chock your wheels incase brakes fail or incase of a user error. Whatever the case you must do at least what is required and chock your wheels to work safe. Stay safe.