In your warehousing facility, you may be doing a lot to help reduce the risk of injuries or accidents that befall your workers, but there may be some concerns that slip through the cracks. That may be especially true when it comes to your loading dock,. Because there are so many moving parts - literally - you may not feel you can keep track of them all.
However, instituting tighter standards for safety on your loading dock is a must, and the following tips will help you get it just right:
1) Mark where people can and can't walk
One of the biggest issues on the loading dock is the amount of traffic coming and going at any given time - from walkers, heavy equipment like forklifts and pallet jacks, as well as delivery vehicles, according to Load Delivered. To avoid a collision, take the time to mark off where people are and are not allowed to walk and make sure everyone involved knows to stay in their lanes.
You may also want to add markings that serve as a sort of "warning track" so people know exactly where the edge of the dock is at all times.
2) Confirm that trucks are secured
Before you start loading or unloading any vehicle, you need to check it is not going to shift in any way, Load Delivered added. To do so, you should make a practice of attaching it directly to the loading dock itself, ensuring it's in park, as well as putting blocks behind the wheels and so on. Those extra layers of protection help all involved avoid an unfortunate accident.
3) Keep the floor clean and in good shape
Because your loading dock is likely exposed to the elements - at least partially - you need to make sure there is no risk of slipping or losing traction, according to EHS Daily Advisor. That means keeping it clear of puddles, sand, mud and the like, as well as debris. Empower all your employees to keep the loading area clean so no one ever falls into the thinking of "that's someone else's job." Put another way, impress upon workers that cleaning up is related to safety, and safety is part of everyone's job.
4) Avoid loading and unloading by hand
A less common but still serious issue you might find on the loading dock is that people can injure themselves when lifting or carrying heavy boxes, EHS Daily Advisor said. As such, you should check that they have the right equipment to ensure they never have to do those physical actions. Something as simple as a dolly or pallet jack, let alone a forklift, will help you keep a strong safety record.
5) Keep it brightly lit
There should never be a time when your employees are straining to see something on your loading dock, so a great lighting system is a must, according to Wesco. Making sure it properly lights every corner of your dock - and that lamps are replaced as soon as they burn out - is always a good policy.