Did you know that forklift accidents cost businesses more than $135 million each year (according to OSHA)?! Yet forklift accidents are only one type of costly mishap that can occur on a loading dock. Truck drivers and warehouse workers have the responsibility of creating a safe working environment on the loading dock and in the warehouse. Our friends at Verduyn Tarps created helpful tips to ensure a safe workspace:
Tips for Truckers
- Watch for trailer creep. Repeated loading and unloading can cause trailers to slightly shift each time. This can, eventually, increase the risk of injury. Be sure to regularly check restraints and wheel chocks.
- Use dock plates only as intended. Dock plates must be flush with the surface underneath them to keep movements to a minimum. Always position dock plates to have a minimum overlap of 8 inches at each end. Always check to see that dock plates are secured before using them.
- Check load capacity for dock plates. Always check load plates for signs of wear or corrosion before use. Be sure that the plates will support the combined weight of the cargo, lighting device, and the people using it.
- Always wear protective equipment. Goggles, gloves, boots, and other appropriate safety equipment should always be worn on the loading dock. Be sure these items fir properly and are in good condition.
- Watch for pedestrians. Always be on the lookout for people on foot whenever entering or exiting the loading dock. Even experienced warehouse workers may become distracted.
Tips for Warehouse Workers
- Always follow proper procedures. Some common safety procedure includes never lifting with your back, never running, and keeping loading areas properly lit.
- Wear proper safety equipment. Goggles, gloves, reflective vests, and other safety equipment should always be worn. Make sure these items are in good condition and fit properly.
- Keep all floors clear and dry. Wet floors and clutter can cause accidents. Making sure the loading docks are kept clean and dry will prevent falls and other serious injuries.
- Regularly inspect equipment. Forklifts and other loading equipment must be regularly inspected. Any signs of wear or corrosion should be noted and taken out of use to prevent failure.
- Properly train employees. Even after employees have been trained, make sure they receive routine reminders of proper safety procedures. Safety training must be a part of the procedures for new hires.
Be smart and be safe.