Loading docks are one of the most dangerous parts at many manufacturing facilities. The reason: So many hazards converge there — trucks, forklifts, weather conditions, lighting issues, etc. To make matters worse, employees from many different departments may find themselves near your facility’s loading dock for one reason or another.
What’s more, injuries around loading docks tend to be serious. And OSHA has strict regulations on loading dock safety.
The key to keeping workers safe around loading docks: Develop specific safety procedures and make sure all workers are aware of them and know the rules are strictly enforced.
OSHA has a guidance page on using powered industrial trucks in loading and unloading operations.
Here are some other loading dock safety tips, from inventoryops.com:
- Make sure workers are using wheel chocks to prevent trailer creep. Use mirrors, windows or cameras to help operators verify the chocks are in place.
- Install spotlights on forklifts and dock-mounted lights to eliminate low-light hazards.
- Don’t let any pedestrians in trailers while forklift drivers are loading or unloading a truck.
- Clearly designate walkways, aisles and loading areas with paint or tape and make sure all workers understand what the markings mean.
- Keep cones handy to temporarily block off hazardous areas.
- Make sure all workers are trained on loading dock hazards — not just drivers or shipping/receiving team members.