Loading docks can get busy. But the busier your loading dock becomes, the more likely safety precautions can fall by the wayside. And the last thing you want during a busy time is an accident that will harm an employee and/or halt production.
Thankfully, preventing loading dock accidents can be as simple as assessing your current loading dock safety protocol, making any necessary changes, and improving key equipment.
So without further ado, let’s walk through a loading dock safety checklist.
Loading Dock Safety Checklist
At the Loading Dock:
– Are only authorized personnel on site? The loading dock area should never be crowded. Keep unauthorized pedestrians out of the dock area.
– Is the area clean? Check to ensure the facility floor is clear of any debris or spills. Also check that any hallways and stairs are free of obstructions.
– Is the dock well lit? This is especially important during the Canadian winter months when it gets darker earlier.
– Is the dock leveled and ready to receive shipment? A dock leveler bridges the loading dock floor with truck trailers to ensure smooth, safe loading and unloading. Consider a mechanical dock leveler if you need to operate even in the event of power failure and a hydraulic dock leveler if you have heavy loads and high-use applications.
– Are hazards and exits marked? Any hazards including facility edges or dangerous materials should be well marked. Installing mirrors in any blind spots or corners is also helpful. In addition, ensure emergency exits need to be marked.
– Are fire extinguishers, a first aid kit, and any emergency items easy to access? In the event of an emergency, your employees should know exactly where to find fire extinguishers, first aid, an automatic external defibrillator, and any other necessary equipment.
– Are dock doors closed and sealed when not in use? Loading docks are heavily exposed to snow, freezing rain and strong winds. An adjustable curtain dock seal will prevent these elements from entering the facility and in turn preventing a wet, slippery floor.
– Has your equipment recently undergone preventive maintenance? It’s far better to conduct regular preventative maintenance inspections for dock equipment including restraints, dock bumps, lights, doors, and communication systems instead of emergency repairs.
– Are parking brakes engaged? Double check that parking brakes are on to prevent movement.
– Are vehicles turned off? Make sure the engine is shut off to avoid the buildup of fumes and to prevent unnecessary accidents.
– Are vehicles chocked? To prevent rolling or moving, all vehicles should be chocked behind the wheels during loading and unloading.
– Is the trailer floor clean? Make sure it is a safe loading area within the trailer. If floors are slippery, add sand or salt to create better traction.
– Is a truck restraint in place? A truck restraint holds a truck in place during the loading and unloading process. Truck restraints are such an integral component of facility and employee safety that there are stringent regulations in place in Ontario to fine facilities that have not implemented truck restraints. The majority of truck restraints are also equipped with a light communication system that allows the driver to be in constant contact with the dock attendant. We recommend an Electric Hook Truck Restraint that will:
Prevent early trailer departure
Limit trailer creep away from the dock
Restrict trailer movement to keep the extended lip of the dock leveler in place on the floor of the trailer
Prevent trailer theft
Invest in the Safety of Your Loading Dock
Every facility faces unique challenges when it comes to improving loading dock safety. Here at Lenworth, we’re committed to providing Canadian facilities with the best services possible no matter the situation. This means providing the best-performing products and ensuring quick, reliable facility services and preventative maintenance through our Preferred Service Program (PSP).
Book a free, no-hassle consultation with a Lenworth representative today and see how committed we are to doing things right, every time.
As the VP of Sales & Marketing, Spencer is an energetic and company-oriented manager that places an emphasis on continuous organizational improvement. Spencer's acute focus on building a customer-centric business drives his team to consistently go above and beyond customers' expectations. At Lenworth, Spencer places the customer as the focal point of all decisions.
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At Lenworth our goal is to help you improve facility efficiency, reduce downtime and minimize risk. Contact us today for a free facility inspection.