8 Tips for a Safer Dock

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Loading docks are great. They make unloading and loading trucks much easier than unloading in an alley or lot. This ease comes at a price though. As we increase the speed at which we can load and unload we also heighten the risk for collision and injury.  Here are some tips to keep you and your colleagues safe around your dock area.

1. Keep it clean!

Foreign objects and debris can create trip and skid hazards for people and pallet jacks. Broken pieces of pallet wood, loose small parts, and road dirt like pebbles and sticks, are all able to cause slips or trips.

2. Check for proper function

Whether you use a simple dock plate or a hydraulic dock leveler you need to make sure it’s in proper working condition. Inspect dock plates, bumpers, restraints, chocks, and levelers for signs of wear. Broken or worn down equipment can cause injury or even death.

3. Inspect trailer floors

When you need to use a forklift to unload a trailer inspect the floor for wear and observe the posted capacity stickers within the trailer. There are plenty of cases where forklifts have fallen through the floor of a trailer.

4. Wear the proper protective equipment

Gloves and steel toe shoes are essential safety equipment for a loading dock operation.  Consider adding high visibility jackets or vests for dock workers to increase visibility. 

5. Honking isn't rude

Using the horn on a forklift or other ride on equipment makes for a safer operation. Whenever exiting a trailer or aisle, signal by tapping the horn to alert others. Also, consider adding blue lights to your forklifts so that pedestrians are aware of approaching forklifts.

6. Perform regular maintenance

Dock equipment is exposed to the elements and therefore can fail quickly and without warning. Your best bet is to have this equipment maintained on a regular basis. Contact us about our regular dock inspection and preventative maintenance programs.

7. Inspect loads before moving

They say it on airplanes all the time: “The objects in overhead bins may have shifted during flight, please use caution when opening the overhead compartments.” The same applies to trucks. Inspect each and every load before lifting or moving. Picking up an unstable load can lead to a mess, an impact, or even an injury.

8. Consider adding edge of dock guarding

No matter how hard we try, we aren’t always perfectly aware of our surroundings. Simple edge of dock guarding, like the Wildeck EdgeGard, keep your people, equipment, and product safe. 

Give us a call when you have questions about your dock or dock equipment.  Your account manager or our inside sales team are well versed in dock safety and dock products. You can reach us at 844-863-4542 or through this handy form.

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