Loading operations and the environment can be hazardous, causing severe injuries and even death. Common loading dock hazards may include toppling poorly secured and stacked cargo, failure and breaking dunnage or lashing equipment, unsafe egress from or access to the trailer or lorry bed, and falls from loading platforms.
To prevent injuries when loading, ensure proper loading best practices and security. The staff and employers should also understand their responsibilities towards a safe working environment to improve safety. Here are five crucial loading safety tips you should consider.
1. Proper dock maintenance
Your company’s dock equipment and doors are essential for the proper functioning of the dock, keeping supplies and products seamlessly flowing in and out of your premises, reducing on-site accident risks and energy loss, and keeping unwanted debris or pests out of your facility. Suppose your company depends on dock levelers, high-speed doors, trailer restraints, and compactors for operation. In that case, you should ensure regular inspections to identify what isn’t functioning optimally or has wear signs to repair, replace or address accordingly.
A proper preventive maintenance schedule should include assessing all dock equipment, parts lubrication and cleaning, and adjustments to ensure the dock functions more efficiently and safely. You can source quality parts such as rite hite dock parts or others for your repairs and replacement purposes.
2. Ensure sufficient dock lighting
Installing proper loading dock lighting reduces accident risks. It ensures the suitable cargo is loaded into the right trailer. It also enhances forklift driver safety by ensuring that they don’t drive into each other. A sufficiently lit dock allows your employees to move freely around the facility without bumping into one another, reducing injury possibilities. A well-lit dock also improves productivity, as loaders don’t have to waste time looking for the right load or where to load it.
3. Install stop and go communication systems
Loading dock go and stop communication systems effectively ensure the well-being of your truck drivers, dock lifters, and forklift drivers by enabling them to avoid mishaps and accidents which may result in injuries. These systems are meant to inform the loading personnel inside and truck drivers outside about the loading operation status at the dock.
Streamlining dock light communication system helps manage traffic flow in the loading dock and reduces the chances of an accident by avoiding unscheduled truck entries and departures. Ensure your employees learn how the communication system functions and what the light color changes mean to improve operational efficiency and ensure a safe working environment.
4. Keep the dock floor clean, dry, and in perfect condition
When unloading and loading at the loading dock, ensure everything is secured in pallets to prevent items from falling and creating clutters, slip and fall hazards, and flooring damages. Get any broken or cracked flooring fixed to ensure employee safety. Clean and dry any spills immediately, ensure the driving and walking areas are free, and dispose of trash properly.
5. Train your employees
Setting clear, high-quality standards and guidelines for how your workers should safely and correctly load and unload items are essential. Ensure proper, relevant dock safety training as part of employee onboarding and regularly for all your staff, promoting loading safety.
Working at the dock presents several hazards that may compromise employee safety. Consider applying these tips to enhance loading safety.