For workers in the material handling industry, safety is always the main concern for workers and supervisors. When it comes to loading docks specifically, safety is elevated as the combination of heavy goods and multiple moving parts makes the area dangerous for all workers. Here are some tips for keeping you and your co-workers out of harm’s way while you’re all on the job.
1. Keep Dock Plates in Place
As one of the most used and most important aspects of the loading dock, dock plates need a lot of attention. Always slide them into place (don’t drop them in) and secure movable dockboards into position. Be sure to check the load capacity to ensure the plates can handle your load weight.
2. Observe Proper Lifting Procedures
To avoid injuries, you should always lift loads correctly. Use forklifts or other aids whenever possible, making sure heavy objects are on the bottom and the entire load is properly secured. Try to avoid lifting alone, especially when it comes to heavy items. When you do lift, do so with your knees, not your back, and wear gloves that provide a good grip.
3. Stay Alert
There are other vehicles, workers, and materials around a loading dock. A safe worker is always aware of these potential hazards. Careless behavior leads to injuries. Wear the proper head, eye, and ear protection when required.
4. Keep Floors Clean and in Good Condition
Warehouse floors should always be kept free of spills and well maintained to avoid cracks or breaks. A clean and maintained floor prevents slipping or tripping, which can be extremely hazardous if carrying heavy loads.
5. Train Employees in Dock Safety
An informed employee is a safe employee. Make sure every loading dock worker knows the correct procedures and what to watch out for while on the job.
6. Plan Regular Maintenance Checks
Keeping your dock equipment in good, working condition is paramount to loading dock safety. Everything from forklifts to dock plates can be a hazard. All loading dock components should be inspected regularly and kept up.
Loading docks can be fraught with hazards, but they don’t have to be. When every worker is alert and follows the correct procedures, injuries become a thing of the past. Questions on loading dock safety? We can help.