Loading dock fatalities and serious injuries occur when there is unwanted separation between the trailer or truck being loaded and the loading dock.

A glad hand lock can be used to secure a trucks air lines from connecting to the trailer, which means they won’t be pressurized, therefore they will be engaged.

Glad Hand Lock Common Questions

Can a glad hand lock be used in place of wheel chocks?

  • No. The lock should be used in addition to wheel chocks or dock locks. They are an additional layer of security.

Can a glad hand lock be used in place of a king pin?

  • Yes. While a king pin prevents the truck from connecting to the trailer, a glad hand lock prevents the brakes from being energized. Best practice is to use both, whenever possible.

Can a trailer move with a glad hand lock in place?

  • Yes. Trucks can connect to the trailer and pull it, but with the brakes engaged, the wheels won’t turn.

Is glad hand lock usage required by OSHA?

  • General industry regulations relative to truck loading docks are largely embedded in requirements for Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178). Specific requirements aimed at preventing trailer/dock separation incidents appear below:

    1910.178(k)(1): The brakes of highway trucks shall be set and wheel chocks placed under the rear wheels to prevent the trucks from rolling while they are boarded with powered industrial trucks.

    1910.178(m)(7): Brakes shall be set and wheel blocks shall be in place to prevent movement of trucks, trailers, or railroad cars while loading or unloading.

    OSHA has issued directives and interpretations that allow alternatives to chocking to prevent trailer/dock separation. Verbiage from a September 14, 2005 letter of interpretation summarizes the Agency’s most current position:

    “. . . in light of the changes in technology since the promulgation of 29 CFR 1910.178(k)(1) and (m)(7), OSHA as a matter of policy will regard failure to use wheel chocks or blocks as a de minimis violation and no citation will be issued if alternative methods of preventing truck movement are used. These alternatives may include the use of dock lock mechanisms, dock monitoring systems, or other systems which will prevent the unintentional movement of trucks and trailers while being boarded with powered industrial trucks.”

This training will teach employees how to put on and take off a glad hand lock. Besides making this part of an employee’s dock safety training, this sheet can be laminated and placed at the glad hand lock station to remind employees how to use them.


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