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Help Protect the Loading Dock Drop-Off

Rite-Hite's dock safety solutions, combining loading dock products with a digital platform, offer critical protection at dock drop-offs. These systems, designed to prevent accidents at 4’ drop-offs, comply with OSHA and ANSI standards. Featuring Dok-Guardian® XL Safety barriers and Safe-T-Lip® leveler barriers, they effectively prevent falls and forklift accidents, ensuring safety in open dock environments.

Standard loading docks are oftentimes built to be 4 ft. (1219 mm) high to accommodate the average truck bed height of freight carriers. In warm weather environments, it’s commonplace for facilities to leave their dock doors open to allow for airflow into the facility. When dock doors are open with no protection against the 4 foot drop, dock workers are at serious risk of slipping and falling, while forklifts can potentially drive or roll off the edge of the dock - all resulting in catastrophic accidents. In fact, nearly nearly 7% of all forklift accidents are a result of driving off the edge of the loading dock, while slips and falls make up to 25% of all injury claims.

OSHA published regulation 1910.28 in 2016, requiring a dock that creates a drop-off of 4 feet or more to have adequate protection from fall hazards through use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall protection systems. Additionally, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) also released guideline A1264.1-2007 to educate facilities on necessary loading dock requirements that help protect their employees and material handling equipment from the loading dock drop-off. 

Chains are a Thing of the Past.

Although it’s important to maintain efficient equipment operation, keeping your material handlers safe at the loading dock is the main priority of any safety manager. Some companies believe that a single safety chain across a dock door offers suitable protection, but in reality this provides little to no defense against falls from the loading dock. Counterbalanced forklifts can weigh up to 10,000 lbs. not including product, so even if a sectional dock door is closed, it will be ineffective at stopping material handling equipment in motion. 

The Rite Solution.

As the average global temperatures and energy costs steadily rise, more facilities are implementing “open dock” policies, increasing the chance of fall injuries at those dock positions. Implementing a fan inside the loading dock can help improve air flow within the facility, however, the proper safety barriers will still need to be in place for those with an open dock.

The Dok-Guardian® XL Safety barriers consist of a high mesh curtain that easily fits across openings up to 12’5” (3784 mm), providing up to 58” (1475 mm) of protection against the vacant dock drop-off.

  • Designed to stop up to 30,000 lbs, which is more than sufficient enough to help prevent a forklift from driving through and off the loading dock.
  • Provide full access for loading and unloading a trailer and still allow fresh air into the building when no trucks are present.

Safety barriers offer complete compatibility with Dok-Lok® vehicle restraints, providing enhanced safety both when trucks are present and when docks are vacant. Both solutions can be interlocked into safe sequence of operations, helping to ensure safety protocols and processes are followed by dock workers. For example, with a “green light interlock” the safety barrier cannot be stored until the vehicle restraint is safely engaging the trailer. Conversely, the Dok-Lok cannot be unlocked until the safety barrier is extended across the dock opening, helping to prevent human error out of safe sequence. This mitigates the risk of material handlers entering an unsecure trailer which can result in trailer separation accidents and other costly hazards.

For an additional layer of safety, facilities can also choose to install a Safe-T-Lip® leveler barrier that helps provide drop-off protection for forklifts.

  • 5” or 7” leveler lip barrier of protection available.
  • Can withstand the impact of a 10,000 lb. forklift traveling up to 4 mph.
  • Upgrade kits available to retrofit compatible Rite-Hite® levelers with traditional leveler lips.


Facilities with vertical storing levelers do not require a Safe-T-Lip because they store in an upright position, serving as a continuous 6-8' barrier wall between a backing forklift and the dangerous dock drop off. This can also help prolong the life of the overhead doors, as they are less likely to be hit.

RHVJ-5000 Jumbo Vertical Storing Leveler

Rite Here for You.

Protecting people and equipment from the loading dock drop off is essential for safety and productivity. Don't wait to make the decision until it's too late. Work with Rite-Hite to proactively prepare your loading dock for drop-off safety. Contact your local rep to learn more about open dock drop-off and how you can combat it. Speak with a loading dock expert to learn more! 

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