Loading docks are often the busiest areas of a warehouse, and unfortunately, many employees are injured each year when working on loading docks. Savvy company owners know that improving dock safety is essential to protect employees and increase productivity. Luckily, making the loading docks of a warehouse safer is not something that is extremely difficult to do. There are several steps that warehouse managers can take to boost loading dock safety. If you supervise a busy warehouse, use the following tips to ensure that the loading docks remain as safe as possible.
Do Safety Audits
Many companies don't pay attention to their warehouse loading docks until there is an accident and someone gets hurt. There is no reason to wait until something bad happens in order to take dock safety seriously. Conducting safety audits of the loading dock area on a regular basis can help identify potential problems that can be fixed to help ensure employee safety.
Focus on Maintenance
Dock equipment needs to be properly maintained in order to function properly. One of the best ways to prevent accidents on a loading dock is by having a maintenance schedule for dock equipment, such as the overhead doors, vehicle restraints, and dock levelers. Keep comprehensive maintenance check lists, and make sure that all maintenance is done according to schedule.
Prevent Loading Docks from Getting Wet
Wet loading docks put employees at risk for serious slips and falls. Loading docks typically become wet due to rain or melting snow. One easy way to prevent slippery, wet loading docks is by installing rain diversion header seals. These seals are a cost-effective solution that are easy to install and ensure that the loading docks are safe for employees even when it is raining or snowing.
Know When to Upgrade
Dock equipment doesn't last forever—the time will come when equipment needs to be upgraded for both safety and logistical reasons. The key is to pay attention to the current dock equipment that you have and know when upgrades are necessary. In some cases, manufacturers offer equipment upgrades that can be retrofitted so an entire piece of equipment does not need to be replaced.
In some cases, it is not possible to upgrade loading dock equipment without replacing everything. If your warehouse loading docks have equipment that is more than a decade old, it is a good idea to look into the cost of replacing old, outdated dock equipment with new equipment that enhances safety.
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