Entering and Exiting Equipment

Man standing next to his truck

Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. For drivers, these types of injuries commonly occur when improperly entering or exiting the cab and trailer. The results can be quite painful and in some cases, proven fatal. The key to avoiding slips, trips, and falls when entering and exiting equipment is to recognize the hazards that contribute to these injuries and know how to protect yourself from harm.

Recognize the Hazards


  • Slippery surfaces
    • Snow on the cab steps
    • Ice on the DOT bumper
    • Puddles around the equipment
    • Water on grab handles
  • Uneven surfaces
    • Cab steps
    • Edge of an open trailer
    • Potholes on the job site
  • Broken grab handles
  • Worn carpet on cab steps

Personal behavior

  • Improper technique
    • Not using three-point contact
  • Hurrying
    • Jumping from the cab or trailer
  • Bad judgement
    • Ignoring safety procedures
  • Inattention
    • Not paying attention to the task at hand
  • Distractions
    • Talking on a cell phone while entering or exiting the tractor or trailer
  • Carrying objects in hands while attempting to enter or exit the tractor or trailer

Know the Defense

ESSENTIAL 7 work practices

  • Utilize personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Wear footwear with slip-resistant soles
    • Wear gloves for added grip
  • Follow established safety procedures
    • Check the ground around the truck for slip, trip, and fall hazards before entering or exiting the tractor or trailer
    • Ensure steps and hand holds are not damaged or covered with contaminants that can make the surface slippery
    • Face the vehicle when entering and exiting
    • Keep hands free
    • Always maintain three points of contact
      • Two hands and one foot in contact with the equipment or ground at all times, or
      • One hand and both feet in contact with the equipment or ground at all times
    • For trailers, use the DOT bumper as a foothold
    • For trailers, keep your body as close to the equipment as possible
    • Do not hurry

Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent.

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© Great West Casualty Company 2018. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2018. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.