Operator hits overhead door while exiting — could trucker have prevented it?

| January 02, 2015
Preventablepg57

After truck operator John Doe pulled the loading dock at a grocery store, a staff member of the facility lowered the dock’s overhead door, which Doe hit on his way out. Could he have prevented the accident?

Truck driver John Doe pulled up to a dock at a grocery story on a chilly morning, calling upon store staff to raise the overhead door so he could back his rig to the dock. 

About half of his tractor stuck out behind the building once he was docked. 

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The store’s manager directed the unloading process, and Doe walked through the grocery store to get some snack, a cup of coffee and some fajitas for lunch. 

He wasn’t at the dock when the overhead door was lowered partially, just above the level of his tractor’s roof, so that the facility wouldn’t lose as much heat. 

After he checked out, he returned to his tractor, swapped paperwork with the store’s manager and climbed back into his tractor. He cranked the truck and started to exit when he bumped the door, fragments of which fell loudly onto his cab. 

His stack was dinged, and to make matters worse, he received a preventable accident warning from his carrier later. 

He contested the claim, saying the store’s manager should have warned him about the door. 

Was it a preventable accident? The National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee offered the final verdict, ruling in favor of the carrier, saying Doe should have checked clearance before departing the dock. A simple glance up would have revealed his lack of clearance, the board said. 

This was an adaptation of Overdrive sister site CCJ‘s “Preventable or not?” series, which appears regularly on CCJdigital.com.

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