Because jumping down off large equipment is a common practice for warehouse workers and many other physical jobs, it’s no surprise that lower back, knee, ankle and neck injuries occur more frequently. Regardless of the type of equipment you work with, mounting and dismounting safely should always be top of mind.
What You Can Do
To lessen your risk of injuries, all you have to do is follow these simple mounting and dismounting instructions:
- When using a new piece of machinery, become familiar with proper mounting and dismounting procedures.
- When a person jumps from a height of more than one foot, the force that goes through the body is about 14 times the person’s body weight. In other words, a 165-pound man who jumps out of a truck cab, tractor or any other high surface is exerting 2,310 pounds of force on his body. This causes injury to bones, tendons and cartilage. And if you’re doing this multiple times every workday, the damage to the body can be extensive.
- When dismounting and mounting, maintain three-point contact. This means having contact with the equipment by either one foot and two hands or one hand and two feet. The smaller the triangle you form with your body, the more stable you are.
- Always face the vehicle, both when mounting and dismounting.
- Look at the surface below before stepping and make sure it is even to prevent ankle and knee injuries.
- Never mount or dismount moving equipment.
- Do not mount or dismount with anything, including tools, in your hands. Not only does it throw the body off-balance, it also reduces your chance of recovering your balance if you do slip. Use a drop rope to raise and lower supplies, tools and equipment instead.
- Handholds and footholds are on the equipment for a reason—use them.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Loose or torn clothing can get caught on equipment when you are jumping down instead of climbing down. In slippery conditions, wear proper footwear to prevent slipping hazards.
- Proper vehicle maintenance also contributes to the safe mounting and dismounting of equipment. Make sure running boards, treads, steps, footholds and platforms are kept clear. Hazards like ice, snow and grease could cause slips, trips and falls.