In part one of this multi-part blog series, we went over some of the regulations set forth for loading dock safety, plus some of the hazards that threaten this safety. Commercial and industrial buildings that use loading docks must take several steps to ensure employees and outside contractors alike are both safe and efficient while performing any duties in this area.
At Crawford Door Sales, we’ll happily lay out all the safety features of any of our pieces of high-quality loading dock equipment. In today’s blog, we’ll begin looking at several important areas for maintaining loading dock safety on a day-to-day operations basis, beginning with training and moving into several other equipment and safety standard areas.
The first step for any loading dock situation involves fully training all employees who will be using this area. This is particularly important for new employees or any who have not had prior training in a loading dock area, but must be done for everyone regardless.
In addition to training for new employees, we highly recommend periodic re-training or refresher courses for current employees. These are good to ensure loading dock safety themes never grow stale, plus to install new principles as your company adjusts.
The “Three Point Rule”
There are several points of employee training you can emphasize, but one that’s particularly useful in many situations is the three-point rule. This rule simply requires that anytime a vehicle like a forklift, truck or other is being used in or around a loading dock area, the person operating that vehicle must keep three limbs on it while stepping in or off. This ensures proper support at all times, no matter what else might be going on in the vicinity.
In addition, other basic rules will mostly be common sense-oriented. Workers shouldn’t run or jump off the dock for any reason, and should maintain safe distances from all dock edges, among other basic concepts.
Cleanliness and Visibility
Another big area of loading dock safety that essentially comes back to common sense is in regard to basic cleanliness and visibility in the area. Clutter and debris should always be completely absent from the loading dock and connected interior areas, as should tools or containers that might get in the way. There should be a specific cleaning schedule in place to ensure there are no issues here.
In addition, visibility and light should be prioritized. If there are any naturally dark areas in or around the dock, lights should be purchased and maintained properly at all times. Forklifts should all have spotlights and other safety lights in working order.
Lifting Best Practices
Within employee training, another vital area to cover is safety while lifting heavy items. Employees should be trained on which items they can and cannot attempt to lift on their own, plus specific techniques for lifting safely and without risking injury (knees bent, back straight, etc.). This training should also cover basic safety equipment like gloves, which help with lifting.
For more on staying safe in or around the loading dock, or to learn about any of our commercial or residential garage door products, speak to the staff at Crawford Door Sales today.