If you own a warehouse as part of your business, you likely also own a loading dock that is used to connect trailers and bring in new inventory or merchandise into the warehouse. While it seems simple enough, it's important that proper safety guidelines are followed when using warehouse docks in order to ensure the safety of all employees and contractors. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
The Trailer Should Be Locked at All Times
When the trailer arrives, the truck driver will usually go through the process of making sure it is securely connected to the dock and locked in place. But you should still have someone double check and make sure everything looks good. A locking device should always be positioned behind the trailer rear wheel or wheel guard. If you notice the trailer moving at all when someone is inside of it, get out quickly and double check the locking device again.
Make Sure Things Are Not Slippery
The warehouse dock area should be monitored closely and any slippery substances must be dried up entirely before attempting to work in the area. This is especially key during the winter when ice can form on the dock just outside your building. The water can sometimes then make its way into your warehouse and that's when things get dangerous. Someone could slip and fall while carrying something out of the trailer or you could have a forklift driver lose control of a vehicle when it hits the wet surface.
Be Aware of the Edge
When no trailer is connected to your dock, you should make sure that all people in the area are aware of exactly where the edge of the dock is located. Use vivid markings in a bright color that can easily be seen by all of your employees. While someone on foot would have to really not be paying attention to walk over the edge, things are different for some heavy equipment operators. In some cases, their view could be partially obstructed by the equipment and they'll have a harder time knowing where the edge is located, making those markings very important. You don't want to have someone go over the edge while driving a forklift, as that could lead to serious injury and property damage.
If your current loading dock is showing some wear and tear, it might be time to install a replacement. Contact a provider of warehouse docks today for more information.