Employee safety is one of the most important aspects of any industrial operation, warehouse, manufacturing plant or distribution center, but it's not the only reason that your loading dock should have dock lights. Loading dock lights provide multiple benefits that help increase the efficiency of your business while simultaneously creating a safer work environment.
Safety Benefits of Installing Loading Dock Lights
The most obvious reason for providing dock lights for your crew is their personal safety. Dock lights illuminate the area, making it easier for workers to see where they're going, spot gaps between the truck and dock and avoid other potential dangers. Fumbling around in the dark isn't fun regardless of what you're doing, but throw in a hundred palettes, a two-ton forklift and thousands of pounds of equipment and that mild discomfort turns into a potentially deadly situation.
While you might think that the delivery truck's interior lights should be enough to get the job done, many trucks don't have interior lighting and even if they do, they might not always be operational. Having loading dock lights prevents your workers from having to struggle to unload goods with one hand, the other holding a flashlight.
Alternatively, they can work in teams with one worker holding the flashlight, but then you are losing out in productivity and essentially paying two men to do one job. In other words, it is simply not cost-effective to neglect loading dock light installation.
Cost and Time Benefits of Loading Dock Lights
This brings us directly to the financial reasons for installing lights on your loading dock. The quicker your crew can get the trucks loaded and unloaded, the higher turn-around rate your business will have. Further, if you don't have a dedicated dock crew, spending less time during the loading and unloading process allows your employees to get back to their other tasks.
By making it easier to see inside the trucks and on (and around) the loading dock, you make the entire operation run more efficiently. As any good facility manager can tell you, increased efficiency and productivity in any aspect of an operation only results in lower overhead and higher profitability. Essentially, loading dock lights are an investment in your returns.
Versatility of Loading Dock Lights
For those of you who are worried about the dock lights getting in the way, loading dock lights now come in a wide assortment of models and types. You don't have to have fixed dock lights anymore, a worry of some dock managers who have a wide array of delivery types and sizes. If you need options and the ability to accommodate all types of deliveries, loading dock lights rise up to your need for versatility.
Dock lights on extendable/retractable metal arms can be stored safely on the wall and extend to the job as needed. This not only allows you to keep the dock lights out of the way when you don't need them, but also gives your workers the ability to get light exactly where they need it.
Further, dock lights also serve another purpose, acting as a communications instrument between your loading crew and the delivery truck driver. When the loading dock lights are on, the driver will know that the crew is back there working and won't accidentally pull away from the dock, causing potential injury as well as damage to goods.
When it's all said and done, there are absolutely no downsides to loading dock lights. They pay for themselves in time by eliminating costly on-site injuries and loss of goods due to damage, all while increasing your operation's efficiency.