Lifting Wall Board Tarps

When a driver arrives at a consignee with a load of wall board, the driver
unstraps the load, removes the bungees and pulls the wall board tarp onto the ground and folds it up. Because of the fall hazard, drivers are not allowed to get on top of their load and fold the tarp on the load and then roll it off the load onto the trailer deck. With each load of wall board we haul, a situation arises in which our driver needs to get his two folded wall board tarps from the ground onto the trailer.

The average weight of a wall board tarp is 115.5 pounds. More if it is old and wet, less if it is brand
new and dry. Since 1-1-19 we have had eight drivers (2 in 2019 and 6 in 2020) sustain injuries lifting their wall board tarps from the ground on to their trailer. Body parts affected are (lower) backs and shoulders. Cost of claims for those injuries range from Report Only to more than $50K. In an effort to eliminate these injuries we are implementing the following practice for getting those tarps back on the trailer.


The following is a hierarchy of methods for our drivers to get their tarps back on the trailer while minimizing the possibility of injury.

  1. When possible, ask the forklift operator to lift the tarps onto the trailer.
  1. The second choice for putting tarps on the trailer is to team lift the tarps onto the trailer. Ask another driver to assist in getting the tarps on the trailer. Decker drivers should volunteer to assist other Decker drivers in lifting their tarps onto the trailer.
  1. In the event that numbers 1 and 2 above are not possible, the driver should drag each tarp over to the deck plate steps on the tractor, roll the tarp end-over-end up the steps onto the deck plate and then roll the tarp end-over-end from the deck plate onto the trailer. Repeat for the second wallboard tarp.

Under no circumstances is a driver to lift his/her wallboard tarp from the ground onto the trailer without help. To do so would risk significant injury and be considered a company policy violation and subject the driver to the appropriate discipline.

improper way to lift a wall board tarp

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