How To Identify Loading Dock Hazards

How To Identify Loading Dock Hazards

Today, we’re going to look at various potential hazards of the loading dock. We’d look for an inspection, uh, dealing with, uh, loading docks. Some typical activities at a loading dock are vehicle traffic coming in and out of the loading dock, parking, stabilizing, immobilizing, pedestrian traffic, and forklift equipment moving in and out of the vehicles to load or unload cargo.

Always Be Alert

Being alert and being familiarized with your environment is very, very important. Being alert is essential for the pedestrian. For the truck driver coming in. Alertness is even more critical for forklift operators who are loading and unloading from the vehicles moving material upon the racking systems.

Communication is an integral part of safety in loading docks. This is true specifically when dealing with the truck driver to ensure that he does not leave or move his vehicle before the completion of loading or unloading. Communication is also vital with forklift operators. Everyone working should know where they are and where they’re going. Communication helps to prevent any collisions with equipment on the floor.

Drivers Should Be Familiar With Hazards

When approaching a loading dock, the truck driver should be familiarized with any hazards associated with the parking area where they’re going to be bringing their vehicles. Light standards, gates, pedestrians, and traffic are all things the truck driver should be aware of. When backing up, the truck driver should ensure that they have a clear sight of the loading dock to interfere with other vehicles, equipment, or pedestrians.

There are various methods to secure a truck at the loading dock properly. One effective method is a dock lock system. You can also use simple wheel chocks, which will prevent any movement of the vehicle. Landing gears are also effective if the power unit is being taken away. Trailer stands can even help support the truck and prevent side to side or back and forth motion.

The truck is supposed to sit or be during the unloading is a matter of policy and procedure. Warehouse managers need to ensure that the vehicle cannot move or leave before completing the loading and unloading.

Keep A Clean Workplace

It’s imperative to keep your work area clean and uncluttered for various reasons. One such reason is to prevent slip trips and falls. If you have snow or ice, especially in winter, that can create a hazard. People can fall and hurt themselves. They may break a leg or even become fatally injured from a fall. If a workplace is kept adequately cleaned and organized, forklifts can move freely. Forklift drivers will not have to dodge obstacles that increase productivity.

It’s crucial to keep maintenance records and inspections for lifting devices to ensure they are adequately maintained. Managers should also keep maintenance records for the dock leveler and dock lock.

Ensure Proper Employee Training

All workers expected to use the equipment must appropriately be trained on that equipment. Warehouse managers should keep all training records for workers in the workplace for review.

Employers should have adequately maintained ventilation systems where filters are checked regularly as per manufacturer specifications. Carbon monoxide detectors are a must and should be installed in workplaces to ensure an alarm will sound in the case of high carbon monoxide levels.

Injuries Are Preventable

Regarding loading docks, employers are responsible for ensuring that all staff receives the proper instructions, information, and supervision to maintain a safe work environment for themselves and all workers. This type of environment with loading docks and all the equipment movement can easily result in a critical or even fatal injury. Workplace injuries are preventable.

We're Here To Help

Our customers are at the center of everything we do. HCO knows that many of you are navigating unprecedented challenges and we’re here to help.

The current economic environment has created stress on many of the core industries that this country relies on to thrive.
- Corporate liquidity is at a premium and the management of your balance sheet is critical.
- Bank and vendor leasing for equipment is tightening as corporate credit ratings are in flux and lenders are focused on securing their own capital.

HCO is leading through this disruption with customized forklift fleet programs that allow companies to 1) replace fleet assets and 2) service those assets without relying on banks or vendors for leasing. Our managed service programs allow companies to secure assets and service programs with no upfront capital, and no end of term lease obligations. We are reinventing the way companies access equipment and service. Please reach out to discuss whether this would be valuable to your company.

As we execute our business continuity plan, we will rely on the guidance from the Center for Disease Control, federal, state, and local governments to guide our decisions to keep our employees and our customers’ employees safe. We are committed to continuing to provide clients with our valuable services.

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