Loading Dock Safety: 7 Vital Tips to Maximize Safety at the Loading Dock
Loading dock safety can’t be emphasized enough. Loading docks are fast-paced, dangerous environments, and without proper equipment and training, everyone’s safety can be jeopardized.
Trailers left unsecured during loading and unloading, for example, introduce a multitude of trailer separation accidents at the dock. Without proper communication between forklift and truck drivers, the risk of accidents increases, and the examples don’t end there.
Consider these facts (OSHA):
● Semi/tractor trailers are the second leading cause of backover fatalities in the U.S.
● There are nearly 85 fatalities involving forklifts every year.
While no two shipping and receiving operations are the same, safety must come first. Rite-Hite safety solutions can help you significantly reduce risk throughout your entire loading dock environment, and for that reason we’ve put together the following tips you can follow to create safer loading docks. After all, while cargo is important, your workers are your most important asset. If they’re not safe, then neither is your business.
Keep Your Workers Safe at the Loading Dock
1. Protect the 4' Dock Drop-Off
Forklift operators are vulnerable to a fall from an unprotected loading dock edge, even if an overhead door is closed. The manually operated Dok-Guardian Safety Barrier is designed to stop up to 30,000 lbs., and it can integrate with a Dok-Lok vehicle restraint, leveler or overhead door to help ensure full-time loading dock safety.
2. Safely Secure Trailers
Rite-Hite Vehicle Restraints are designed to provide the highest level of safety based on your application. Dok-Loks are the only truck restraints in the industry that provide full-time communication of the lock’s engagement status to the forklift driver.
3. Limit Unnecessary Ground Traffic
Some safety protocols call for visual verification that the trailer is restrained before the next sequence in the operation can begin. Lok-Vu utilizes an outside camera view which is displayed inside, on the Dok-Commander control box, and helps to confirm when a trailer is present and secured - without stepping outside.
4. Communicate Beyond an Obstructed Control Box
Control boxes, with flashing red and green lights, may become obstructed at a busy loading dock. Corner-Vu and Leveler-Vu place lights on the upper corners of the interior dock door and at the leveler pit rear to help provide a clear, line-of-sight vehicle restraint status with reduced obstructions in the forklift driver's view.
5. More Than Securing a Trailer
A vehicle restraint should do more than secure a trailer to the building. The Rite-Vu™ Hazard Recognition and Light Communication System detects and communicates potential dangers in the loading dock environment. A combination of components use motion detection, line-of-sight notification, and audible alarms to provide instant hazard recognition and communication to pedestrians and material handling operators.
6. Ensure the Loading Dock is Free of Debris and Water
Dock Shelters help form a seal around three sides of the trailer at the loading dock. This implementation limits unwanted debris and water from entering loading dock areas where it can create hazardous, slippery conditions.
7. Support Spotted Trailers
Place trailer stands under the nose of spotted trailers to help prevent trailer up-ending or other accidents due to landing gear collapse.
According to OSHA, 70% of all reported accidents could have been avoided with proper safety precautions. While not all encompassing, using these steps along with a well-executed, regulation-abiding safety plan you can help reduce the risk of accidents around the loading dock and keep your business running smoothly.
For more information:
● Read more about loading dock safety.
● Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter. The INSITE Newsletter covers topics relating to safety, security and productivity at the loading dock and inside the industrial facility.
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