Loading docks can present some significant risks to workers. Check out the following common loading dock safety hazards to be aware of.
Tripping on Slippery Surfaces
From rain to leaking oil, if the surface becomes slippery around the loading dock, workers face a risk of falling. A simple slip and fall might not be a big deal, but if someone falls off while carrying something, they could sustain a serious injury. To help prevent slipping, stairs should feature treads for grip. Also, you can line any edges with yellow tape so they’re more noticeable. All of this will go a long way to prevent accidental falls.
Falling Items From Unstable Pallets
Before moving pallets, you should always check that everything is secure because you don’t want anything to fall off the top. When you’re packing items onto a pallet, some products will come with packing instructions, but if they don’t, rely on balance. Ensure you distribute the weight evenly and wrap the pallet properly.
Inhaling Carbon Monoxide
You should be careful about letting trucks sit idle while in the loading bay; even with the doors open, it’s still a confined space, so smoke can get trapped in the area. That means that people nearby face the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Back Injuries From Improper Lifting
If you don’t know proper lifting technique, you could be placing unnecessary stress on your back when carrying boxes. Make sure that you lift with your legs, placing the majority of the weight on your thighs. Also, if you’re doing an excessive amount of lifting a day, consider getting a back brace or lever belt for extra support.
Forklifts and Heavy Machinery Accidents
If you work on or near forklifts and heavy machinery, you need to be extremely careful when operating around the loading docks. Make sure that anyone operating the machinery is correctly trained and certified. Clear communication in a loading dock is key, so make sure everyone is aware of the machine operating. Otherwise, they might get hurt by inadvertently getting in the way.
Now that you know the common loading dock safety hazards to be aware of, you won’t be blindsided by unexpected risks to your well-being.