This safety alert strongly recommends that cheater bars (extension bars) not be used on over-centre load binders, or 'dogs' as they are commonly known.


Using cheater bars on dogs is a widely accepted practice when securing loads. It is a dangerous practice and has resulted in numerous serious injuries.

Contributing factors

  • Using a cheater bar to tension a dog creates a risk of the bar flicking up and hitting the worker when the tension is released.
  • Others in close proximity are in danger of being hit if the worker loses control of the bar.
  • The tension on the dog varies according to the length of the bar.

Action required

When binders are used for securing loads the risks must be eliminated or controlled.

Possible solutions

  • Consider using something other than an over-centre load binder, such as ratchet straps or turnbuckle binders.
  • Don't use cheater bars on dogs.
  • Provide information, training and instruction about using load binders safely.

Further information

For more information call 13 10 50.

See the National Transport Commission's Load restraint guide.

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