Chocks are wooden or rubber blocks that wedge against a tire to prevent the vehicle from rolling. OSHA mandates the use of chocks for trucks, trailers and rail cars.
Types of Vehicles Regulated
OSHA regulation is concerned primarily with the security of trucks, trailers and railroad cars as they are loaded or unloaded with powered industrial forklifts. OSHA outlines mandates for wheel chocks in standard sections 1910.178 (k) (1) and (2) and 1910.178 (m) (7).
Function of Chocks
OSHA requires drivers to set the brakes, and workers to chock the rear tires of trucks before they are loaded or unloaded. If a driver detaches a trailer from his truck, he (or site workers who receive the trailer) must stabilize the trailer with jacks and chock the rear wheels. Workers must use wheel stops or other recognized stabilization methods to stabilize railroad cars.
OSHA does not consider failure to chock wheels a violation under these special circumstances: workers secure the truck or trailer to a loading dock with a positive mechanical system. The facility management must use and maintain the system so that it prevents trailer movement while the workers board and unload the truck. The equipment must be installed according to manufacturer recommendations. The site supervisor must immediately retire damaged equipment or components from service.
Beth Reed Newsome has written manufacturing documentation and agricultural articles since 2001. Her B.S. in economics from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, fuels her interest in industry. As a member of the American Paulownia Association and Alabama Forest Owners Association, she tours southeastern farms and forests and studies cultivation practices.