Top tips that can help prevent injuries caused by liftgates

7 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Workplace injuries are a common occurrence, especially in the transportation industry. To ensure safety, employers ought to make sure their staff is properly trained and capable of operating equipment.

Despite being quite indispensable when it comes to transportation tasks, liftgates are dangerous instruments. If defective or badly operated, liftgates can cause severe injuries, including amputation, bone fracture and brain injuries. Below are some tips that can help you prevent this:

Liftgates safety concerns

Choose self-levelling liftgates over other types because these can maintain the load level to prevent dropped cargo. Liftgates that can be operated with a remote control are also available.

To prevent cargo from rolling off the vehicle, consider buying liftgate cart-stops. Also, when you're shopping for a new truck with a liftgate, make sure to buy one that has a uniformly flat surface to ease cargo lifting operations.

Under no circumstances should you overload the liftgate! Always have in view the capacity of your liftgate. When you're purchasing one, it's better to buy a liftgate with more capacity than you usually need.


Before allowing anyone to operate the liftgate, make sure drivers and other workers know what they're dealing with. All of them should be well aware that under no circumstances should they perform any maintenance work on liftgates or enter the area beneath a raised liftgate. 

Liftgates should be operated and maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions. It is highly indicated to perform visual inspections of the liftgates on a daily basis. If there's even the slightest indication that the instrument may be malfunctioning, you should avoid using it and call an expert to conduct a professional inspection.

Before loading cargo, you can ensure a safer handling by putting the right wheels or devices under or on the liftgate. Heavy loads should always be secured with strapping to prevent them from rolling off the end. You may also want to install a ratchet strap into the E-track of your truck. This strap will act like a seatbelt around the load to keep it in place.

Extra tips

  • Liftgates should never be used for any purpose other than cargo lifting, for example personnel transportation.
  • Avoid exposing your hands and feet to pinch points
  • Make sure the platform is dry. When it's raining, cover the cargo with a waterproof tarp
  • Train your workers and drivers to keep an escape plan in mind in case of an emergency

Contact a company that deals in liftgates for more information.