A Checklist for Loading Dock Equipment Safety

A Checklist for Loading Dock Equipment Safety

The loading dock is one of the critical and most dangerous pinch points at many heavy-duty facilities. Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of the most neglected areas as well. But if you’re aware of proper loading dock equipment procedures and protocol, this won’t be an issue for you or your staff.

Why You Should Address Risks Surrounding Your Loading Dock

A Checklist for Loading Dock Equipment Safety1

Most people don’t realize just how many serious risk factors there are in their loading docks. But failure to address these potentialities could result in damaged goods and/or injured employees.

Implementing the right equipment and protocols ensure the safety of your valuable products and workers. In addition, they will streamline all of your loading and unloading operations. This allows you to smartly increase energy efficiency and productivity while keeping everyone and everything in your facility safe.

Here is a checklist for loading dock equipment safety:

  1. Keep the loading dock and surrounding areas well lit. Not being able to see around the loading dock may lead to accidents.
  2. Make sure all loading dock equipment is well-maintained. Be sure to check any equipment in the dock that is not working properly and have it fixed right away to avoid delays in your operations.
  3. Check if your dock equipment is sufficient for your cargo. Always prepare your dock equipment ahead of time to avoid issues.
  4. Keep the floors of your facility free from moisture and debris. Aside from causing injuries, moisture and debris can damage your loading dock equipment.
  5. Ensure that fire extinguisher and first aid kits are nearby. These items are very important and should be well-marked.
  6. All fire exits should be accessible. For your employees to see the fire exits, the doors should be marked clearly–nothing should be blocking the exits.
  7. Dock doors should be closed when not being used. For safety purposes, all dock doors that are not in use must be barricaded at all times.

Daily Warehouse Operations Safety Tips

  • Spills must be cleaned immediately. Your loading dock should be clean at all times.
  • Trailers are required to be chocked during loading and unloading. Wheel chocks are wedges of sturdy material that are closely placed against a vehicle’s wheels to prevent accidental movement. They are placed for extra safety after you set the brakes.
  • All workers in the facility should be trained in first aid and other safety measures. You’ll never know when an accident will occur, so all employees should learn how to perform first aid in the case of an injury.
  • Ensure that all Material Safety Data Sheets are kept nearby. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document containing vital information about the potential hazards of a material and how to safely work with it.
  • Make a simple process that can be used to report any safety issue or damaged equipment. Employees must know how to properly report hazards or damages inside the facility.
  • Turn off all transport vehicles during the process of loading and unloading. Aside from injuries, vehicles that are not turned off can cause damage to your products so be sure to check them at all times.

Some safety procedures may seem extensive or excessive, but loading dock equipment safety is not something to take lightly—especially since it involves the well-being of other people and your company’s own products. Feel free to implement the above checklist items into your business’s standard operating procedures; they could mean all the difference during an emergency.

Learn more about how to improve the safety of your warehouse here!