What is a loading dock? To sum it up in simple terms, this is the main area where products get moved out of a distribution area, and most likely into the back of a long haul truck. The thing is, it's a pivotal part of the supply chain, meaning a lot of fast movement and handling, which leads to...accidents. In fact, around 25% of warehouse injuries happen at the loading dock.
How can you stay safe and efficient? Follow our 6 tips for loading dock success.
One of the reasons why loading docks are dangerous is because of the heavy machinery, like forklifts, moving around the area. Use tape to pinpoint where distribution workers should not walk to avoid an accident with fast moving vehicles.
The weather can ramp up injury risks, as rain and snow turn loading docks into a slippery mess. Regular sweeping and mopping ensures the ground is free of debris or liquid that can cause falls.
Don’t get careless when packaging products- always check and double check that they are secure. You wouldn’t want to trip over a fallen product that’s being handled on the loading dock, or have a larger product fall apart due to loose packaging.
Sharp corners exist on the loading dock and all it takes is one rushed movement to snag some skin on one. Cover up sharp corners with protective padding to avoid cuts and bruises.
Hold safety meetings and go over the protocol for injuries and emergencies- specifically on the loading dock. When all of your employees are on the same page, injury prevention, fast thinking during an emergency and reduced panic can help your supply chain keep moving on target.
It may sound like something out of a movie, but the reality of a truck trailer disconnecting from a loading dock results in shock and injury as workers fall off. Always make sure that locking devices are in place before products get moved to avoid any “runaway” container scenarios.
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