Railcar Wheel Chocks OSHA regulations
OSHA mandates the use of wheel chocks in addition to car brakes wherever rail cars are being worked, loaded or unloaded.
A gust of wind is enough to cause a 260,000 pound freight car to start rolling. Thanks to roller bearings, freight car wheels offer very little resistance to movement. In fact, the contact area of each wheel on the rail is smaller that the size of a dime. This is why moving heavy loads by rail is so efficient! But at the same time, all this mass, so easily moved, needs to be securely blocked while the car is being worked.
Loading freight cars increases the strain on the car brakes. Liquid pouring into a tank car or a forklift moving back and forth in a boxcar create dynamic forces which can overcome the holding power of the brakes.
Slack in mechanical car brakes can be enough to allow a wheel to move forward a few inches and dislodge a dock board or strain a hose line
Loading Pulp and Paper Railcars
(4) Handling pulpwood from flatcars and all other railway cars.
(V) Flatcars and all other cars shall be chocked during unloading. Where equipment is not provided with hand brakes, rail damping chocks shall be used.
(vi) A derail shall be used to prevent movement of other rail equipment into cars where persons are working.
Loading Tank Railcars
(iii) Caution signs shall be so placed on the track or car as to give necessary warning to persons approaching the car from open end or ends of siding and shall be left up until after the car is unloaded and disconnected from discharge connections. Signs shall be of metal or other suilable material, at least 12 by 15 inches in size and bear the words ‘’STOP-Tank Car Connected” or ‘’STOP-Men at Work” the word, “STOP,’ being in letters at least 4 inches high and the other words in letters at least 2 inches high.
(iv) The track of a tank car siding shall be substantially level.
(v) Brakes shall be set and wheels blocked on all cars being unloaded.
(iii) While cars are on sidetrack for loading or unloading, the wheels at both ends shall be blocked on the rails.
Freight Railcars in General
(2) Wheel stops or other recognized positive protection shall be provided to prevent railroad cars from moving during loading or unloading operations.
(4) Positive protection shall be provided to prevent railroad cars from being moved while dockboards or bridge plates are in position.
(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.
(5) Positive protection shall be provided to prevent railroad cars from being moved while dockboards or bridge plates are in position.
(f) Rolling railroad cars. Derail and/or bumper blocks shall be provided on spur railroad tracks where a rolling car could contact other cars being worked, enter a building, work or traffic area.