Liftgate Hang-Ups Are Safety Let DownsBy: Paul Karolczyk

A 47-year-old truck driver injured his neck and back trying to stop a shipment from falling off his truck’s broken liftgate.

The driver arrived at the customer site early on a Friday with a heavy load of valuable office equipment. He hauled the freight in a standard box truck equipped with a rail-style hydraulic liftgate.

Unaware of its unsafe condition, he stood on the liftgate platform, and flipped the control switch to lower it. As the platform dropped, its left runner got stuck in the rail. The platform tilted unevenly to the right. The load shifted close to the edge. The driver reacted in a sudden twisting motion to save the freight from crashing down. He felt a twinge in his back, but ignored it.

As the day wore on, the driver felt worse. By Monday morning he could not move. A medical exam showed serious strain injuries to his neck and back. He has not returned to work after many months of therapy.


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