Loading Dock Safety Tips
In many warehouse operations, loading docks are hampered with the potential for danger. Without proper training, procedures, equipment, and maintenance, they can expose employees to a disaster at every turn. Here are a couple of statistics to consider:
More than 25% percent of all industrial accidents occur at the loading dock. And some estimates show that for every accident, there are 600 near-misses.  The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about 70% of all reported accidents could have been avoided with more rigorous training and proper safety precautions.
Here are some basic safety tips to follow at the loading dock.
TIPS for Truck Drivers
- Beware of Trailer Creep. Trailer creep is the most serious hazard that can take place on a loading dock. It occurs when a trailer gets separated from the dock during the loading or unloading of goods. The separation between a trailer and the dock occurs due to the motion of a forklift, which may result in serious injury to the forklift driver.
- Proper Use of Dock Plates. Check that the plates are properly secured before using them and check for any signs of wear or corrosion.
- Proper Dock Plate Capacity. Be sure the plates will support the combined weight of the cargo, vehicle, and person operating it.
- Wear Protective Clothing. Goggles, gloves, vests, boots should be worn every time on the loading dock.
- Watch for Pedestrians. Always be aware of people around you when entering or exiting the loading dock.
TIPS for Warehouse Workers
- Follow Procedures. Whatever the proper safety procedures are for your operation, follow them.
- Wear Safety Equipment. Wear goggles, gloves, reflective vests, and other safety equipment as deemed necessary. Make sure the safety equipment is in good condition and fits properly.
- Keep Floors Clear & Dry. Wet floors and clutter can cause accidents. It is especially important to keep loading dock floors clean and dry to prevent serious injuries.
- Inspect Equipment Regularly. Forklifts and other loading dock equipment must be inspected regularly. Signs of wear should be noted, and broken equipment should be taken out of service until fixed.
- Ensure Proper Training. Train your employees and make sure they receive follow-up training. A safety-minded culture should be a regular part of doing business.
In conclusion, the loading dock area is hazardous and is a danger zone for many individuals without proper training and safety equipment. By following the appropriate safety rules and looking out for your fellow employees' safety, you can make the loading dock a safer area to work. At Action Lift, we offer safety training for your forklift drivers. We also have a dock & door division that can inspect and repair your loading dock equipment. We want to help keep your loading dock operating efficiently and safely.