The loading dock is one of the most important areas of a warehouse. It's one of those areas of a warehouse that are normally busy as workers try to load and offload trucks to meet their daily targets.
However, like most places in the warehouse that encounter a lot of activity, they are known for some of the most fatal warehouse accidents. Some of these accidents are either from slips or equipment and workers falling off the edge of the dock.
In today's safety Wednesday article we look at some of the measures you can take to ensure safety in the loading bay area.
1. Keep The Floors Clean And Dry
Some fatal accidents in the loading dock area usually originate from slips. The key cause of these slips is normally oil spills, debris or rainwater that sips into the loading dock area. Such oil spills, debris, and water around the loading dock area are a major cause of fatal accidents in the loading dock area. Therefore maintain a consistent cleaning schedule around the loading dock areas to keep it safe for operation.
2. Improve Visibility Using Markings
Another fatal accident that usually occurs in the loading dock area is forklifts driven off the loading dock. Most of the times this comes about from the forklift operator underestimating the starting point of the edge of the loading dock thus driving off it. One strategy that proves very helpful in preventing this is painting the edges of the loading dock to enable the operator to have accurate visibility of the edges of the loading dock.
3. Properly Training Operators
Even though all these other safety measures are crucial of more importance is using well-trained operators. When an operator is well trained on operations that involve the loading dock area they are in a better position to spot potential hazards e.g wet floors and initiate a proper response to them. Training is also key as it inspires behavioral change on the part of the operators to reduce cases of carelessness that lead to loading dock accidents.
4. Make Use Of Indicator Lights
Safety at the loading dock is such a huge responsibility that cannot simply be left to only the operators. One way you can enhance safety at the loading dock to complement the efforts of the operator is to use traffic light signals. They help alert the operator on moments when it is dangerous or safe to approach the dock area. Additional indicators can alert the bay workers when to open the dock doors or carry out other tasks without compromising on safety.
5. Consider Using Safety Barriers
Safety barriers have become a crucial addition to safety at the loading dock. First, they prevent the falling off of forklifts when an operator makes a mistake and comes close to the edge of the loading dock. They also go a long way in preventing cases of bay workers falling off the loading dock edge. Like the markings and signals, they also act as a constant reminder to the workers in the warehouse to remain alert at the loading dock for safety purposes.
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