QUIZ: Safely plugging and unplugging reefer units

“Reefer units,” or refrigerated cargo containers, are used to keep food and other items cold in transport. Plugging and unplugging these units may pose safety risks like burns, shocks, and arc flash or arc blast hazards. To reduce injuries among workers, train crews on associated risks and precautionary practices.   

The following quiz is based on information outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and will test your basic knowledge of how to safely connect and disconnect reefer units. To take the quiz, just answer the questions below, consult the answer key, and award yourself one point for each correct answer. Then check to see how you scored!

1.    To safeguard employees from accidental contact, all live components of reefer units should be properly:
        a.    Guarded
        b.    Isolated
        c.    Insulated
        d.    All of the above that apply to the component

2.    Before plugging or unplugging a reefer unit, be sure to:
        a.    Empty all contents of the unit
        b.    Check the humidity level of the work area
        c.    Turn off the power supply
        d.    All of the above

3.    If a worker discovers a damaged or live reefer unit part, including a receptacle or cord, they should:
        a.    Report it immediately
        b.    Try to fix the problem on their own
        c.    Proceed with connecting the unit if the issue is only minor
        d.    Ignore it

4.    It is okay to step on reefer unit cords and cables when:

        a. Wearing composite toe work boots
        b.  A supervisor gives permission
        c.  No standing water is present
        d.  It is never safe to stand on cords and cables!

5.    Before connecting or disconnecting a reefer unit, workers should do all of the following except:
        a.  Make sure the plugs are dry and clean
        b.  Wash the entire unit

        c. Be aware of weather conditions like rain or snow
        d. Inspect the unit and its components for damage

6.    When accessing elevated reefer units, portable ladders should be:

        a. At least twice the height of the unit
        b. In good condition and secured before using
        c. Constructed only of rope to avoid electrocution

        d. On rollers to ensure easy transport 

7.    Workers should wear which of the following personal protective equipment (PPE) when plugging or unplugging reefer units?
        a.    Gloves
        b.    Goggles
        c.    Hearing protection
        d.    All of the above

8.    Employees can reduce falls and improve their stability when accessing reefer units via stairways or ladders by:

        a.  Wearing boots with suction soles
        b. Tying off fall protection to the ladder
        c.  Staying in between the side rails of the stairway or ladder
        d. Always choosing metallic ladders

9.     When accessing reefer units, it is important that workers:
        a. Remain within the confines of safety rails
        b. Refrain from standing on rails
        c. Avoid reaching over rails to complete tasks
        d. All of the above

10.  Employees need to stay alert because reefer unit fans can:
        a. Turn on suddenly, exposing them to respiratory hazards 
        b.  Rotate quickly and entangle clothing
        c.  Make loud noises that can damage hearing
        d. Easily become unscrewed and strike nearby workers

 1 –  d, 2 – c, 3 – a, 4 – d, 5 – b, 6 – b, 7 – d, 8 – c, 9 – d, 10 – a


0 – 5 points:  Improve the safety of your workplace and empower workers by seeking and sharing information on safely connecting and disconnecting reefer units.

6 – 9 points:  Decent job, but you may want to brush up on safety tips for plugging and unplugging reefer units to ensure you don’t miss anything important.

10 points:  Congratulations! You are quite knowledgeable when it comes to safely connecting and disconnecting reefer units!

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