9 Ways to Keep Your Loading Dock Safe

Two black loading docks with the numbers 1 and 2 written in white at a warehouse in Asheville.

Safety is always the first priority for those working in the material handling industry. This is especially true for dock loading. What many people aren’t aware of is that many things can go wrong if safety precautions are not taken. We provide tips to keep employees out of harm’s way while in or around loading docks.

If you need dock plates or other dock equipment to help make your loading dock safer, the material handling experts at Indoff can help. Contact us online or call (828) 483-6402 to learn more about our products.

Keep Floors and Surrounding Areas Clear  

First and foremost, floors and surfaces should be clear before loading vehicles onto the dock or loading stations. That said, always check to ensure there is nothing obstructing the path. It’s always best to be safe than sorry, especially in these fast-paced settings.

Ensure Dock Plates are in Place

Dock plates need just as much attention as any other part of the loading dock. Always make sure to slide them properly in place. After they are in place, secure moveable dock boards into the correct position. Also, be sure that the loading dock can handle the load capacity.

Practice Proper Lifting Procedures

Another major tip to keep in mind is to make sure loads are lifted correctly. You will want to use support from your knees and not your back when lifting. Keep your knees in place and your back straight, never bending your back in the process. Use forklifts or other aids if possible or when dealing with an especially heavy load.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

In these settings, many other vehicles, workers, and materials are in or near loading docks. With that being said, workers need to be aware of operations before entering or exiting the area. It is also important to use the following for additional protection:

  • Headwear
  • Eyewear
  • Ear protection

Train Employees in Dock Safety

Mainly employees come into the industry unaware of the accidents that can happen due to unsafe dock loading procedures. As an owner or manager, it is important to consider implementing routine safety training. And for employees who have been working in the industry for quite some time, this training can act as a good reminder of the need for proper procedures.

Schedule Regular Maintenance Checks

It is also an owner or manager’s responsibility to schedule maintenance checks on all vehicles and equipment in the loading dock area. Vehicles and machinery can fail, and you should never solely rely on them. If issues are found in vehicles and machinery, it is crucial to have repairs done as soon as possible so as to avoid accidents.

Be on the Lookout for Loading Dock Hazards

Many hazards can pose several dangers when dock loading, such as:

  • Wet, oily surfaces
  • Dock edging falling off
  • Unsecure dock plates
  • Unchecked trailer wheels
  • Back injuries from improper lifting
  • Illness from inhaling carbon monoxide from trucks

Cease operations and get assistance if you witness any of these potential hazards.

Take Precautions to Prevent Accidents

There are many ways that accidents can be prevented. The following are some measures you and your employees can take to avoid accidents:

  • Walk, never run, on loading docks
  • Stay away from loading dock edges
  • Do not jump on or off a loading dock
  • Wear sturdy shoes
  • Watch where you are going

Keep Floors Clean and Dry

Not only should the area be clear of objects or materials, but floors should also be as clean and dry. If you notice that floors are wet and dirty, immediately take measures to clean and dry the area before loading or unloading.

Prioritize Safety in the Workplace with Solutions from Indoff

With the right products and material handling solutions, it can be easier to ensure safety during your business’s operations. This is where Indoff can help. Contact us online or call (828) 483-6402 today to learn more about how our products can help ensure the safety of your business.

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