Loading docks, regardless of the setting, are dangerous because they’re typically busy most of the time.
In fact, the # 1 cause of ¼ of all warehouse injuries results from a busy loading dock area combined with human error. For this reason, it’s extremely important to practice safety protocol when working on or near a busy loading dock.
Here are 8 crucial loading dock safety tips to follow to ensure your safety as well as others around you.
Top Eight Loading Dock Safety Tips
#1. Properly train employees
It all starts with properly trained employees. If all employees are properly trained, it cuts back on accidents due to a lack of knowledge. Training employees on the proper use of PPE and other safety procedures is the best way to reduce work-related injuries that could otherwise occur when not properly trained.
#2. Wear your PPE at all times
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a basic protocol. It’s often inconvenient to employees but is extremely important since it reduces the risk of injury. PPE includes protective eyewear (safety glasses), high visibility vests, gloves, hardhats, and other protective equipment.
#3. ALWAYS keep area clean and dry
A dry and clean area is vital for a safe work environment since slip and falls are often caused by a dirty or wet work environment. When there is nothing to slip or trip over, it reduces the chances of work-related injuries on or near loading docs.
#4. Inspect equipment regularly
Regularly scheduled inspections on equipment are important to ensure there are no malfunctions or problems with working equipment. If not properly maintained, equipment such as pallet jacks, forklifts, and other loading equipment could seriously injure or kill workers. That’s why this is one of the most important precautions to take.
#5. Follow standard procedure
It’s important to make sure you and everyone on your team is practicing proper safety procedures because this reduces the chance of unnecessary accidents that could have been prevented.
#6. Turn off vehicles, not in use
Gas emissions are a huge, invisible risk to workers which can be easily avoided by simply turning the vehicle off when not in use.
#7. Establish safety zones
Marking off safety zones with high visibility tape is the best way to establish safety zones for hazardous areas. This shows everyone where not to go or where to be especially careful to ensure safety. Places that should be marked include blind spots where collisions are likely, as well as electrical panels.
#8. Use dock plates and levelers correctly
You should always check load plates for wear and corrosion prior to use each time. When doing so, make sure the plates being used are suitable for the combined weight of the cargo, lifting machine, and workers so there are no unforeseen problems. Proper use of the dock plates which fill the gap and the levelers that smooth out the lift is crucial for dock safety.
As you can see, the most important thing to remember while working near a busy loading dock area is to stay safe. If you follow these safety tips and you shouldn’t have any problems following through with that.