Loading Dock Safety Tips

Working in dangerous industries comes with a unique set of rules that must be followed to protect workers from harm. From protective gear to safety training and compliance rules, businesses that have loading docks must comply at all times. The nature of this work, with so many moving parts, heavy crates, and containers as well as the high traffic, make hazards common.

Here are tips for loading dock safety at your workplace.

Set & Adhere to Dock Rules

It’s important to set rules in place for anyone accessing the loading docks to adhere to. Understanding the dock plate capacity and keeping leveler wells clear of debris, for example, can ensure safe operation and use of the doc.

Rules such as keeping the dock levelers either completely level with a trailer or in the cradle of the truck will avoid serious injury. Keeping pedestrians out of the area when unloading is occurring is also important.  Remember, employees that understand the risks and severity and are consistently updated on rules for their safety, are more likely to comply.

Personal Protective Equipment

For workers responsible for the loading and unloading of docks in various industries, careless behaviors are never permitted. In addition to proper etiquette while on the docks, workers should be using gloves, eyewear, and protective footwear. Handling wooden pallets for examples can pose a risk so having the right gloves to protect hands and have a good grip while working is key. The same is true of quality footwear since the risk of dropping something heavy increases while transporting the product to and from trailers onto the docks.

Safe Forklift Operation

Forklifts are commonly used equipment at loading docks. Safe operation is critical to keep hazards at bay. Keeping any pedestrians away from moving forklifts and training operators on the safe use of the equipment is important.  Train employees on how to properly load and weight distribution and make sure workers are not lifting heavy loads on their own.

While it’s certainly true that hazards increase in a busy loading dock environment, this workplace can still be functional and safe with proper precautions taken.

If you’re in need of help with training and compliance or want to stock up on protective gear, Respond System is southern California’s first choice for first aid, disaster preparedness, and workplace safety.

Get OSHA Certified Products & Safety Training.

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