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Did you know that there is a forklift-related death every three days in the United States? Loading docks are an essential aspect of supply chains. This activity carries potential risks and can be dangerous. Here are a few ways that you can improve loading dock safety where you work:
What Loading Dock Safety Really MeansA loading dock is the main facility where products are moved in and out. Loading docks can be especially dangerous because of all of the heavy equipment and machinery. Safety must be your number one priority. There are quotas, and workers are pressured into working a fast pace, but this only increases the risk for injury. If someone gets injured, it not only affects the people involved but also work productivity.
Communication LightsA common reason for forklift injury is the trailer unexpectedly leaving the dock before the loading or unloading process is finished. A way to correct this is to install red and green lights to signal the driver when it's safe for the forklift to enter the trailer, and when it is safe for them to leave the dock when finished loading or unloading.
Using A SpotterUsing a spotter can also help get the forklift safely to its destination. Spotters can guide the operator on how high to lift its load in order to avoid obstacles. This preventive measure can help the operator guide himself off of the loading dock leveler.
Train Your EmployeesTrain your employees on proper use of the loading dock. They should be familiar with all equipment and how it works. They should also be trained on how to know when the equipment isn't working properly. Your employees should be aware of the dangers to look out for.
Keep Your Loading Docks DryIn the event of bad weather like heavy rain or snow, the floors of your loading dock can become wet and slippery. Header seals or rain shrouds are options to get rid of rain and melting snow. All managers need to stress the importance of keeping the floors dry. This will cut back on injuries.
Make Loading Dock Safety A Priority
- Slow down! Productivity and getting the job done are important, but your team's safety should come first. Don't speed through the loading dock as if it's a race track.
- Service your dock. Make sure all of your equipment is in top form. If something is sagging or lagging, there is probably a problem.
- Watch your fingers! Two pieces of steel coming together will cause an unfortunate trip to the ER.
- Clean up debris. It's very easy to trip over random trash on the floor. Make sure your area is clean to avoid such an accident.