Vacant loading docks create a dangerous 4-foot drop-off for personnel and material handling equipment. Some companies believe that a single safety chain across a dock door offers suitable protection; but in truth this provides little defense, if any, against falls from the loading. Even if a sectional dock door is closed it’s likely to be ineffective at stopping a moving forklift, lift truck, or pallet jack.
OSHA Regulation 1910.23, regarding “protection for wall openings and holes”, dictates that companies must install adequate protection against falls. And, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guideline, A1264.1-2007, “sets forth safety requirements for areas where danger exists of persons or objects falling through floor or wall openings, platforms, runways, ramps, and fixed stairs, in normal, temporary, and emergency conditions.”
Whether it’s at the loading dock or another raised area the proper safety barrier or gate can help address the need to physically protect employees and forklifts anytime they are at a drop-off with a height of four feet, or more.
Establish an effective physical barrier with a loading dock leveler that includes a Safe-T-Lip®, which can stop a 10,000-lb forklift traveling up to 4 mph; or a Dok-Guardian® safety barrier, designed to stop up to 30,000 lbs.
These barriers also provide a clear visual warning, reminding personnel to stay clear of closed dock doors in order to avoid crashing through them – this is particularly critical for facilities that tend to keep a “dock doors closed” policy.
Contact your local rep to learn more about open dock drop-off and how you can combat it.