Before opening the container

What is the issue?

Loads within a container often shift during transportation or may move as a result of inadequate packing.  Goods may be pushing against container doors. This can lead to uncontrolled opening of the doors.  Workers are at risk of being hit by unrestrained items or falling loads.

How can I manage this?

The risk of injuries arising from the opening the container can be eliminated or significantly reduced by:

  • never assuming the load is secured in a safe manner when you are opening a container door
  • using a suitable restraint, such as a short rope, net or barrier, on the door to prevent the items resting on the doors from forcing the doors open without a control in place
  • opening the right hand door cautiously first.  Only when safe, proceed with the left
  • checking to see if the goods have shifted when the doors are partially opened
  • consulting with workers to develop and implement a safe method of unpacking (using a safe work method statement) if the goods have shifted
  • checking for any notices or labels (such as dangerous goods labels), or notices concerning the contents.

Image of container doors with restraint attached

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