Opening Railcar Doors

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In the rail yard of a pulp mill, a young worker was preparing railcars for loading in the warehouse. As the worker pushed open one of the sliding doors, it suddenly dropped off its top rail guide. The bottom of the railcar door was 4.5 feet above the ground. The door then fell forward on top of him, pinning him under its weight. It took three workers to lift the 1,390-pound door off the trapped worker. He suffered serious internal injuries and multiple broken bones.

Railcars travel thousands of miles each year and take a lot of abuse. The doors are opened using various methods from hand pulling the door open to ramming it with a forklift. Railcars are only in our facility for a short time and you don't know the history of where it has been, how it was treated or what maintenance has been done on it.

This story from earlier this year highlights why it is important to inspect the railcar door prior to opening and to utilize the proper method for opening a railcar door.

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