With cooler weather approaching, some may want to keep dock doors open longer to keep the area cooled and lit. Sometimes ongoing activity leads to dock doors staying open more frequently. Whatever the reason, open dock doors present a specific range of hazards which could get overlooked until it’s too late.
Your receiving dock area is one of the busiest and potentially hazardous places to work. With so many different moving pieces involved, it’s important to have a safety plan customized for your specific operations. Fortunately, in order for workers to be protected, there’s affordable, reliable safety equipment for most common dock hazards.
You can be a proactive force in your warehouse by applying some simple cost-effective solutions custom made for such hazards. Here’s a list of the top 4 most common dock door hazards with some cost-effective, safety options to prevent those accidents from happening in the first place:
1. Products, pedestrian, and forklift falls –
Though you’d think an open dock door would be enough of a warning, you’d be surprised at how many fall accidents occur. Because of the common nature of this hazard, OSHA standards require that an opening with a drop of more than 4 feet must be chained off or barricaded.
Pro Tip: There are many cost-effective and efficient safety products to solve this problem. Safety net barriers, dock gates and barricades in safety yellow also provide highly visible, physical barriers to prevent falls off of open dock doors.
2. Lack of awareness of truck activity –
Believe it or not, some workers become so preoccupied with their task at hand – especially in a noisy environment – that they may not be aware of incoming trucks or flatbeds pulling away from the dock. This poses a unique hazard for dock workers that can be easily solved with high-visibility awareness products.
Pro Tip: Collision sensors and light communication systems are an efficient, low-cost way to improve communication between truck drivers and dock personnel. Safety lights and loading dock mirrors also provide additional visible cues to help keep dock workers safe.
3. Unorganized pallets and products at dock door –
Facilities with few storage options suffer damage and injuries with products being stored on the floor at the dock opening. Pallets and boxes clogging up the floor space around your dock doors slows down productivity, increases the risk of falls, and creates confusion.
Pro Tip: Having a solid organization plan for incoming pallets and goods helps to maintain safety, order, and productivity. Pallet rack systems are an efficient way to store incoming pallets of goods. Even a simple steel shelving system near your receiving area can keep packages off the floor until they can be stored properly.
4. Unsecured or malfunctioning dock equipment –
Wear and tear on dock equipment happens quickly in active facilities. Falling dock doors or trips on unsecured dock plates are not an uncommon hazard.
Pro Tip: To keep your dock doors and equipment in safe and efficient working order, establish a yearly preventative maintenance plan for routine check-ups, cleaning, and fixing of all dock equipment.
Contact us for receiving dock safety consultation, or call us direct at 800-442-3061. We know that trust is earned and our clients are happy to testify – ask us for references!