The loading and unloading of goods and equipment requires certain safety procedures. Loading docks are easy places for injury if you’re not careful. Spills, slips and equipment error are all things that can go wrong on your dock, but there are ways to prevent problems. To ensure your loading dock doesn’t become a workplace hazard, follow these tips:
Keep the floors dry
Oily, wet floors create slippery surfaces that can cause trips and falls. Keep your loading dock dry even when it’s raining to ensure that nobody slips. Sawdust can help keep the floors from getting slick. You can also get slip-resistant boots for your workers for added protection. Should a chemical spill occur, workers should leave the area immediately and a professional should be called to clean up the mess.
Watch your back
Loading dock workers often sustain injuries to their lower backs. To ensure that your workers are lifting with their knees and pressing materials upwards with their leg muscles instead of their lower backs, provide lifting belts. These belts isolate the lower back so that the worker has no choice but to lift properly.
Accessorize your dock
Keep bumpers, reflective barricades, neon vests and other safety accessories handy to avoid accidents. These accessories help workers see corners, edges and anything else that might be in their way. It’s important to keep in mind that loading docks are small areas that only offer a tiny work surface. These small areas make for awkward angles, so the more accessories you have on hand, the better your workers will be able to see what’s in front of them as they’re loading and unloading cargo.
Ensure equipment is used properly
Dollies and other machinery are often used to transport goods. Be sure that each worker is familiar with the protocol and safety procedures for each piece of transport equipment. Adequate training should be provided to each worker to make certain that they are able to safely operate all equipment.
Unfortunately, break-ins happen. Security cameras installed around the perimetre of your loading dock will not only make your workers feel safer but it can lower your insurance costs. You can also hire security guards to keep watch.
Loading docks are a crucial component to any shipping and receiving business. If you follow the above safety procedures, you can have a secure dock and an efficient workplace.