More often than not, loading dock workers work on a tight schedule, which usually requires them to load and unload items hurriedly and aggressively.
Did you know that around 25% of all industrial accidents occur at the loading dock? Working on loading docks has immense risks. More often than not, loading dock workers work on a tight schedule, which forces them to load and unload items hurriedly and aggressively. This, in turn, exposes the workers to catastrophic injuries, which can be expensive to treat.
Let’s discuss five important safety measures that can help you prevent loading dock injuries.
1. Using Loading Safety Barriers
Loading docks can go as high as 4 or 5 feet from the ground, making it easy to step off the loading dock and suffer tragic limb fractures or brain damage. Because of this, loading dock barriers should generally be installed to prevent workers from falling or the forklift from rolling over the dock.
Common barriers to use include chains, scissor gates, or railings. Additionally, bright tape may be used as a way to warn other workers of the potential dangers on the loading dock.
2. Securing the Trailers to the Loading Docks
Some of the deadliest accidents at the loading dock occur when the momentum of loading or unloading the trailer moves away from the dock. This creates a dangerous gap where workers and forklifts may fall through and cause fatal injuries. Therefore, trailers should generally have wheel chocks and be restrained using a dock lock before loading and unloading.
3. Maintain a Clean Working Area
A disorganized and wet loading dock is very dangerous. For example, you could slip on a wet or oily loading dock and suffer severe injuries.
Therefore, ensure the loading dock is clear of empty boxes, cables, or anything else that could cause dangerous falls. Also, avoid running on the loading dock. Instead, walk carefully to avoid fall injuries.
4. Proper Training
Proper training can make the difference between life and death. What’s more, having an improperly trained employee on a busy loading dock is very dangerous—they may create a hazardous environment for themselves and other workers.
Therefore, if you are new to loading docks, ensure you get proper training. Additionally, despite being an experienced worker, you typically need to periodically get refresher training to keep your safety skills up to date.
5. Communicate With Your Team
Communication is vital when working in a loading dock. Therefore, always maintain constant and clear communication with your co-workers, forklift operators, and, most importantly, the driver. The driver should always be aware of what is happening to ensure they don’t pull away too early and cause injuries.
Seek Legal Help – Contact a Work Injury Attorney
Have you been hurt in a loading dock accident in Missouri? Our Missouri workers compensation attorneys have over 30 years of serving injured workers in Missouri and can help you too. Contact us to schedule a free case review.
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