How to Improve Loading Dock Safety
- 29 Jul 2015
MaintenanceIf not properly maintained, a damaged loading dock lift could crumble and give way at any time, posing a huge safety threat. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that both the pit and the structure of the lift are regularly checked, repaired, and kept in good condition. You should also regularly check any loading dock equipment such as you can find here, including dock boards and the door. Boards should be rated for the weight placed on them, and the door should always be kept in good condition – loading dock lift doors can cause serious harm if they suddenly fall, so make sure it closes and holds securely.
Lighting and VisibilityEnsuring that your loading dock lift is in a well-lit area is crucial. Bright lighting reduces the potential for accidents by allowing truck drivers to see clearly where they are pulling up, and gives lift operators a better visibility of any hazards or obstacles in the way. The edge of the loading dock, plus any other danger areas should be clearly illuminated – never rely on the lights of a vehicle alone to do this. It’s also important that your staff are visible to others – ensure that high visibility clothing is worn by all staff, at all times.
Use a SpotterLoading dock lifts can be especially dangerous for forklift truck drivers as they are unable to see the end of the loading dock or where the truck meets the loading dock safely. Using a member of staff to act as a spotter for forklifts can help prevent this issue by making it clear to drivers where exactly they should be directing the load. This can also reduce the risk of driving the forklift truck off the edge of the loading dock lift if the truck is not fully backed up, and can also guide the operator on how high the load will need to be lifted up. Remember to keep your spotters safe – they’ll need to stand far enough away so as not to be hurt by the load if it should fall.
Correct TrainingBefore a member of staff is allowed to operate the loading dock lift, you should ensure that they are properly trained and certified to do so. Knowing how to operate a forklift truck correctly is essential to safety regulations, as untrained operators can often cause accidents by backing into people and causing them to become trapped, or colliding with shelving and other objects that could have been avoided.
Would you like to add anything else to this list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.