How an Interlock Solution Can Ensure Safe Gangway Loading

How an Interlock Solution Can Ensure Safe Gangway Loading

Tankers and the Industries they Serve

Industries such as oil & gas, food & beverage, chemical, and agriculture require goods to be transported by tanker truck. Commonly, these vehicles carry granular or liquid goods like fuel, flour, sugar or plastics. These types of goods require specialized procedures to unload and load their goods.

Loading/Unloading Process

When a tanker truck has reached its destination, it enters the unloading/ loading area of a facility where hoses and or pumps are connected to the tank to unload or load the goods. It is common that tanker personnel will need to gain access to the top of the tank to allow for ventilation or attach hoses/pumps to begin the loading/unloading process. Many facilities have permanent or semi-permanent elevated loading platforms or gangway systems that allow authorized tanker personnel to safely access the top of the tanks.


While gangway platforms offer personnel ease of access, they also pose some risk.  Property damage can occur when a tanker believes that the loading or unloading process is complete and begins to pull away from the loading site as its hoses/pumps are still connected. As a result, the gangway and other equipment could become damaged.

Not only is equipment and property damaged when the tanker pulls away from the gangway, but personnel is also at risk for injury or even death. The OSHA 1910.28 standard requires fall protection devices such as a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall protection systems to be in use if an employee could fall more than 4 feet or more from an opening. While most gangways or loading platforms meet this standard by using guardrails, accidents can still occur.

In addition, it is common for tanker trucks to carry flammable or corrosive liquids which makes the safe loading/unloading of this material imperative for both the personnel and facility. OSHA states, “Truck or rail tank car loading or the unloading of flammable/combustible liquids is one of the most hazardous operations likely to be undertaken at any manufacturing or storage facility.”


To mitigate these risks, the tanker truck needs to be prevented from departing from the gangway before loading or unloading is complete. The Salvo Loading Dock Safety System is a robust solution that prevents early departures from occurring. The system forces a sequential process to be followed that ensures the tankers are locked out before personnel can access the gangway to begin their loading/ unloading procedure.

The tankers air brakes are first locked out by using a uniquely coded glad-hand. When the glad-hand is applied the key can then be removed and taken to the manual door lock. The manual door lock is typically mounted on a post where personnel would access the gangway. The door lock would contain a short bolt and long chain that restricts access to the gangway until the Salvo key has been inserted into the door lock and the bolt has been removed, granting access to the gangway. When the loading process is complete and the gangway has been retracted back to its original stored position, the bolt is reinserted into the door lock, releasing the key. The key can then be taken to the glad-hand where it is reinserted and the glad-hand can be removed. The Salvo Loading System prevents early departures and ensures personnel are safe.

 Contact Us

For more information on the Salvo Loading System, visit or contact Dan Skiba, Director-Salvo at