A warehouse loading dock can be as busy as a beehive as it's the hub of traffic with products going in and out. With loading and unloading of large trucks, forklift trucks running, and many other operations taking place it can often be hazardous for people working here. That is why there are special OSHA rules that govern the safety of warehouse loading docks and it pays to have a warehouse loading dock safety checklist that you can refer to and take necessary action.
OSHA Safety Rules for Warehouse Loading Docks
Most OSHA regulations for warehouse loading docks are related to operation as well as design of forklifts and maintenance of gates and doors.
Forklift operators have to be duly trained to operate forklifts and these machines also should be properly maintained for safe operation. Furthermore, warehouse loading docks also are prone to slips, falls and trips. That is why the walking and working surfaces should be slip-resistance.
Ill-maintained gates and doors are known to cause several injuries, some fatal, at warehouse loading docks. Hence, warehouse managers and supervisors should ensure these are duly serviced and maintained to minimize chances of accidents and injuries.
Making Warehouse Loading Dock Safe
Maintaining warehouse loading dock safety can often be challenging and an ongoing endeavor. Hence, having a checklist at hand will make it easy for warehouse supervisors and managers to ensure complete safety.
Here is one warehouse loading dock safety checklist that you can look at and expand.
• Train all personnel at the loading dock about safety and ensure those rules are enforced.
• Industrial truck drivers and forklift operators are trained to give right of way to pedestrians.
• Color-coded paint to mark different areas of the warehouse loading dock, such as doorways, walkway barriers, overhead obstacles and parking aisles.
• Install padding or guards around sharp corners to protect people walking through the facility.
• Inspect palletized materials regularly to weed out defective pallets and place products into safe pallets.
• Secure pallets with plastic or metal banding during storage and transportation
• Every stationary vehicle is retrained with wheel chocks
• Clean out the loading dock regularly to prevent a pile up of debris and dirt
• Ensure emergency exits are not blocked and doors are functioning properly.
• Make sure roll up doors at the loading dock are properly maintained. If there is a problem, it should be rectified immediately by a trained and qualified specialist to prevent accidents.
• Are warehouse ergonomics in place? Adjust height of conveyor belts to minimize lower back pain. Heavy products should be placed at knee or chest level only. Have a limit to the amount of weight each worker can carry and encourage assisted lifting in the facility.
• Paint the edge of the loading dock area with reflective white to ensure workers have a clear view of the dock.
• Wrap all loose products meant for storage or transportation in shrink-wrap to prevent them from falling on personnel.
• Powered doors at the loading dock should be periodically checked and maintained as per manufacturer’s instructions.
• Mark overhead hazards, such as electric wires, doors and pipes, so that they can clearly be identified.
Use this warehouse loading dock safety checklist to keep your facility safe for your worker. You can add to it if necessary.