Loading docks are a very high traffic section of your warehouse because employees are constantly loading or unloading items from the trailer. Due to the level of traffic and presence of heavy equipment and machinery, loading docks can pose serious safety hazards. However, with proper planning and implementation of some of our safety tips below, a loading dock can be secured to mitigate risks of accidents.
Ensure that the dock is well lit- A well lit dock allows people on foot to easily spot each other, obstruction on the floor or any spills that can result in a dangerous fall. It would also make it easy for employees to see what they are doing as well as make it easy for others to know when trailers are pulling in or out of the dock. In a dim environment, chances of accidents are much greater because employees have to pay greater attention to properly observe their surroundings.
Improve communication on your loading dock- Miscommunication or lack of communication on the dock can be dangerous. Either verbally, with lights or hand signals, develop an efficient communication system that is easily understood by your staff and truck drivers. This will let everyone know what is expected of them at every point.
Secure trailers at the dock: When the trailers are not well secured, there is an increased risk of it rolling forward or backward and resulting in a fall or major injury. Trailer restraints reduce the risk of trailer separation accidents. To avoid this, restrain all trailers while loading and unloading items.
Restraining the trailers must be done by all employees before any loading or unloading begins and it is important to also double check that the restraints are in place.
Ensure your employees have proper training: Working in a loading dock requires employees to know what to do and what to avoid in order to keep them and everyone else safe. So, it is important that all the dock employees are familiar with the code of conduct and safety requirements in place at the dock. Furthermore, all employees operating machinery like forklifts and other load carrying equipment must be certified on the proper way to use them to ensure safety.
Keep a clean loading dock: Keeping the dock clean means ensuring that there is no debris, dirt or obstruction that can hinder safe movement of boots on the ground. It also means that any spills should be cleaned immediately to prevent injury from slipping and falling. Machinery that is also not in use should be stowed away to enable a free flow of traffic for employees on foot and those operating machinery.
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