Tarping Safety: Best Practice Procedures for Truck Tarping


Truck driving and load handling are some of the most dangerous professions. One of the biggest reasons is due to the hazards of handling tarps. A 2006 study from the United States showed that 20% of all trucking injuries involved tarps, even though only around 30% of trucks had tarps on them.

Employees and employers must understand the basics of tarping safety.


Employers must make sure their employees have tarping safety equipment to deal with any shipments. They also need to ensure employees understand their rights and responsibilities when receiving shipments.

Employers must let their workers know that they are not responsible for removing weather-protect tarps. They have the right to refuse any delivery unless the shipping company agrees to use a forklift to remove these coverings.

Employers must also let their employees know that they are obligated to refuse loads under certain circumstances. They must refuse loads that are so steep that a ladder is needed to handle the tarp.


Employees need to follow certain tarping safety precautions to avoid injury or property damage. Some of these precautions include:

  • Always crawling over a tarp or load, rather than standing on top of it
  • Keeping tarps indoors during the loading process when temperatures are below freezing, so that the tarp can defrost
  • Unrolling the rear tarp before beginning to unroll the front tarp
  • Properly securing all corners of the tarp

Employees always need to follow sensible tarping safety guidelines.

Best tarps for flatbed trucks

There are a lot of different types of tarps. Here are some of the best for flatbed trucks.

Truck side curtains

Truck side curtains make it quick and easy to load trucks. Employees won’t need a loading dock, because they can load and remove cargo from the side of the truck. Bee Jays Canvas is the sole supplier of Tennacitex truck curtains, which are easy to work with, as well as highly secure.


Canopies can be custom-made for any vehicle. They can be produced in a variety of colours and materials. Here are some of the custom options that can be included for tarping safety:

  • Roll-ups from both the rear inside of the truck
  • Windows made from clear PVC
  • Vents to regulate pressure caused by condensation
  • A horn seal or zip for the roof rack

Roll tarps

Roll tarps can be manufactured to fit trucks of any size. They come with a number of utilities, including handles, yolks, splines, poles, and tarpons.

Roll tarps are ideal for tarping safety. They are highly durable and simple to use.

Want to learn more about our products and services? Get in contact with our friendly team to discuss your unique project requirements!

Safety precautions

Any employee working with tarps needs to understand tarping safety risks. They need to be aware of the following:

  • Lightweight tarps might seem easier to use, but they create unique hazards. Employees need to recognise that these tarps might be more dangerous, especially if they underestimate the amount of force needed to remove them without the right equipment.
  • Tarps become more dangerous during high wind velocities. Tarps that are blown fast enough could knock workers off their ladders or the top of the truck. They need the right scaffolding in place to minimise these dangers.
  • Employees are far more likely to injure themselves while manually handling tarps. They run the risk of overexertion, strained muscle injuries, or balance loss. Mechanical aids significantly reduce these risks.

These tarping safety concerns need to be taken into consideration with every load.

Tarping safety needs to be your number one priority

Many workplace injuries involve handling tarps. These risks include falls, muscle overexertion injuries, and abrasions. All companies need to make sure adequate tarping safety precautions are in place. They must make sure the appropriate tarps are used, and mechanical aids are available to avoid these risks. Employees also need to be informed about the risks and best tarping safety practices.

Bee Jays Canvas are expert in creating custom truck tarps and curtains, to suit your requirements. Contact Bee Jays Canvas to find out more!

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