|Safety Meeting Topics (Bilingual)|
Loading docks are busy areas. Trucks, trailers, and forklifts move throughout loading areas. Trailers, dock levelers, and rolling doors can cause pinch points, and elevated docks pose a fall hazard. Workers must pay attention to these hazards and focus on safety training, the proper equipment, and strict observation and supervision of work tasks.
Get training on loading dock safety, safe work practices, and equipment such as pallet movers and dock levelers or bridges. Do not operate a forklift without proper training. Wear personal protective equipment such as gloves and steel-toed boots with a grip sole and heel. Dress appropriately for hot and cold environments. Consider hearing protection and eye protection depending on the environment in which you will be working.
Safety starts at the dock approach, so make sure it is in good repair, free from potholes and large cracks. Mark trailer lanes and positions clearly for easy backing, parking, and spotting. Ensure that chocks and dock bumpers are present and in good repair. Ideally, dock bumpers should be made of fire-resistant materials to avoid fires caused by trailer lights. To decrease exposure to diesel exhaust, ensure that trucks do not idle at the dock.
The typical loading dock opens about 4 feet off of the ground, posing a fall hazard. Use safety barriers to mark ramps and drop-offs. These prevent pedestrians and forklift operators from going over the edge. NEVER lean or hang out of a loading dock – you could be crushed by a backing trailer. Do not walk into a trailer while a forklift is loading or unloading – forklifts are harder to maneuver in tight spaces.
Dock levelers or bridges span the space between the dock and the trailer. Trailer locking devices prevent trailer creep or dock walk, which could cause a gap to open between the trailer and the dock. Integrating dock levels and locking devices into signal lights communicates to workers and truckers when it is safe to load and when it is safe to move the trailer. This equipment should be regularly maintained and inspected for safety before each use.
Do not load a trailer unless it is chocked and firmly seated against the dock. Note and adhere to the weight capacity of the leveler or bridge before loading begins. Inspect the trailer floorboards to ensure that they will withstand the load of the materials, the lifting device, and you. Inspect the load itself to make sure that it is secure, that the pallets (if any) are strong enough for the load, and that the load meets the capacity of your lifting equipment.
Maintain good housekeeping in the loading dock work environment. Keep aisles and work areas free of debris, trash, and materials. Mark pedestrian walkways, work areas, and storage areas. Use mirrors on blind corners. When you are walking in a loading dock area, be aware of your surroundings and watch for forklifts and moving trailers. When you manually maneuver a load, use safe lifting and handling techniques.
Safety on the dock: Be sure to use those chocks!
The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.
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