Your company's loading dock can be a place of constant and serious activity. Tractor trailers or delivery trucks drop off pallets of items that must be transported by forklifts and cranes. Keeping items and people safe is critical. Other than complying with relevant OSHA guidelines, what will encourage safety on your dock?
Look for Equipment Which Needs to Be Upgraded
After years of deliveries, you should always be looking out for equipment that's no longer working or has become obsolete. Upgrading your docks and equipment as much as the budget will allow can make the environment safer. Look for ripped seals, sagging docks, rusted roll-out plates and similar issues.
Often, dock levelers will need to be re-assessed. Because these levelers can make the area between dock doors and delivery truck safe or unsafe, you must always be sure that the levelers are intact and functioning effectively. You may need to switch from manual levelers to electric-powered ones so that workers don't have to exert themselves too much.
Your dock might use "edge-of-dock" levelers, which seem appropriate, but you might decide to switch to pit levelers to encourage safe forklift movement and operation. Pit levelers, because they're part of the dock itself, permit smoother forklift travel instead of the bumps and dips which could be encountered with edge-of-dock equipment.
Whether certain personnel are responsible for cleaning the docks or not, it is wise for everyone to remove broken pallets, boxes or debris from the loading dock floor. Things that aren't supposed to be laying around can easily trip someone or cause problems for forklifts. Remind staffers to transport items to their designated places.
You should also remember to clean common areas like offices and kitchens. Fires can break out in these areas and injuries are possible there too. Trash should be emptied regularly and debris shouldn't be left to pile up.
Guide Your Staff
Your dock equipment operators are skilled, but you may need to remind them to behave safely too. Respecting forklift weight limits, examining equipment prior to use and other tasks should be completed throughout each day. Your ability to guide your staff on safety issues is key. New hires should always be trained about safety protocols and suggestions for maintaining a clean, safe dock.
Company safety is accomplished with these dock recommendations. Enlist equipment retailers, manufacturers and your own staff to assist you in creating a dock environment that discourages injuries and lowers risks for other site dangers. Visit a site like http://www.commercialhardwaregroup.com for more information.