Loading Dock Safety — The loading dock can be a bustling place, with equipment and people busily moving about, doing their daily tasks. Many loading dock workers can probably tell a story or two about a close call on or near the loading dock simply because the potential for accidents there is huge.
Dock accidents can be as mild as accidentally pushing your dolly into someone cutting a corner too closely or as serious as a worker being pinned between a forklift truck and the loading dock. Sadly, this is not an unusual dock accident and can happen when a forklift runs off the dock and hits someone. Whether or not you regularly work the loading dock, always keep loading dock safety on top of your mind.
Common loading dock hazards
Loading dock safety is no joke. Here are some common hazards to be aware of on the loading dock. If you see equipment, machines, or other objects out of place, stop to put them where they belong, or alert someone else who can take care of it right away. Alert your supervisor when you come upon broken or malfunctioning equipment.
- Wet, oily, or broken floor surfaces that cause slipping or tripping
- Falling off dock edges
- Injuries from falls or unsecured dock plates
- Unchocked trailer wheels causing injuries
- Inhaling carbon monoxide from trucks
- Improper lifting and carrying
- Careless behavior around forklifts and other vehicles.
Tips for loading dock safety
- Keep floors clean, dry, and in good condition
- Store containers, packaging, tools, and other materials safely out of walking and driving areas
- Clean up and properly dispose of trash
- Place oily rags and other combustible trash in closed containers
- Clean up any spills immediately
- Report any cracked or broken concrete, as well as any other flooring problems
- Keep dock plates in place.
Loading dock safety is important for dock workers to know in order to avoid accidents, some of which can be devastating and life-changing. Always read and understand your workplace safety guidelines and ask questions if something is not clear. Pay attention during all training so that you can be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Be safe out there!
Learn more from OSHA’s warehousing resources.
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