Safety is paramount when it comes to working around your warehouse loading dock. This is especially true if hazardous chemicals, or any liquid really, is being loaded and unloaded at the dock. The following safety tips can help you make your dock a safer place for all the workers in the warehouse that have to access it.
Tip #1: Surface matters
The surface of the dock matters when it comes to safety. At construction, most warehouses are fitted with a concrete dock, although some may have a dock topped with metal plates. Diamond plate is preferred to smooth plates since it provides traction. You can also have a grid top added to your dock. Moisture runs through this into a collection vat or a drainage area. A grid is an excellent choice if moisture is a common problem on your dock.
Tip #2: Rate your plate
Not all docks feature a permanent dock apron. Some have a moveable dock, called a dock plate, that comes out to bridge the distance between the back of the truck and the loading opening. If this is the case with your dock, make sure you have the weight rating for your particular installation displayed in a very obvious location. A common cause of injuries is the failure of a plate from too much weight. If you are receiving loads well over the recommended capacity, it's time to have a new plate installed from a dock equipment supplier.
Tip #3: Watch for carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is considered a silent killer because most people affected by it are completely unaware that it's in the air until it's too late. While death isn't likely in a large warehouse setting, major illness can occur. Not only should all trucks be required to cut the engine after backing up to the dock, you should also have a detector installed at every loading station. This way staff knows when to clear an area so it can air out.
Tip #4: Light it up
Work in the dark or even half-light is a recipe for an accident. Unfortunately, not all truck trailers are equipped with internal lighting. This is why it's important to have positional flood lights installed on your dock. This way you can light the entire of the truck without using temporary lighting that has dangerous cords stretched across the loading zone. Positional floods are usually mounted on the exterior wall of the dock, or they are mounted overhead and pulled down into place.
For more safety advice, contact a truck dock equipment supplier like American Material Handling, Inc.
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