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5 Keys to Loading Dock Safety

Posted on 11/16 by Erin Helms

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A loading dock is a fast-paced, dangerous environment, and workers who lack proper equipment and training are at risk of injury. Most warehouse injuries happen on the loading dock. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), semi/tractor-trailers are the second leading cause of backover fatalities in the U.S. There are 85 fatalities involving forklifts yearly. No two warehouses are the same, but safety must be a priority at all warehouses. Your cargo is essential, but your employees are your most precious asset. Do not jeopardize their safety. Here are loading dock safety tips.

Dock Plate Safety

Dock plate safety is about common sense. Unfortunately, when workers get busy, they do not always heed common sense in favor of getting the job done quickly and efficiently. It would be best if you kept dock plates in place. Always slide the safety plates in and do not drop them in. Always check the load capacity to ensure the plates can handle the load weight.

Proper Lifting Procedures

Injuries from improper lifting are common, so proper lifting techniques are essential. Whenever possible, use forklifts or other lifting aids. Load the heaviest objects on the bottom and secure the entire load properly. Try to avoid lifting objects alone, especially the heaviest items. When lifting, do so with your knees and not your back. Always wear gloves that provide a good grip.

Stay Alert

The loading dock is busy with other vehicles, workers and materials. Ensure your workers are safe from potential hazards. Instruct them never to try to ride on a forklift or distract the operator. Workers must get out of the way when a forklift horn sounds and always be aware of materials on the dock that can fall or roll. Of course, employees must wear a hard hat, eye protection and hearing protection if necessary.

Floor Care

It would be best if you kept your warehouse floor free of spills and well-maintained to avoid cracks or breaks. A clean floor prevents slipping or tripping. Here are tips for keeping it clean: Create a daily cleaning schedule Protect the floor from the elements Impose no food or drink policy Schedule routine professional cleaning

Routine Maintenance Checks

Preventative maintenance is a planned and systematic approach to maintenance designed to address problems before they become hazards. It involves periodic inspections, maintenance, repairs and replacement of equipment. Keeping the loading dock in excellent working condition for safety would be best. Anything from a forklift to a dock plate can pose a danger, so regular inspections are necessary. Routine inspections can make a considerable difference in worker safety. LaborMAX has terrific warehousing and distribution employees available now. Let the team at LaborMAX provide dependable, well-screened workers for you.

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