For many businesses, loading docks are the center of the action. Loading docks are often times the hub for receiving, unloading, and loading goods.
Loading and unloading is an arduous and fast-paced task. It typically involves a forklift or other material handling equipment when it comes to larger packages or pallet loads. Clear loading dock safety procedures can help reduce the chances of an employee getting hurt on the job.
Your loading dock leveler provides a valuable service to your daily operations. It creates a level surface between the loading dock and a vehicle, allowing for safer and more efficient loading or unloading of goods.
This “bridge” that the leveler provides not only makes the job easier, it ensures safety and reliability during your daily operations. As a business owner, it is your duty to maintain a safe working environment.
Read on for 4 must-know tips to keep your loading dock leveler safe:
1. Know Your Needs
There are a lot of things to consider when deciding which type of dock leveler is best for your operations. You need to have a clear understanding of your operational specifications and requirements.
Different types of docking operations will demand different types of leveler functionality. Choose the dock leveler that fits your needs.
One of the things to take into account is the type of loading and unloading vehicles you use. Another is to consider the frequency of times the dock leveler is used during your normal operations.
The weight capacities loaded and unloaded is also important. A leveler’s capacity must be able to withstand the weight of your material handling equipment. This is very important and will help to limit the amount of maintenance and safety hazards that could happen.
All of these things should help you narrow down to the leveler that best suits your business’s needs. Choosing the right leveler will also maintain dock safety, and ensure that your employees stay safe.
2. Use Spotters, Chocks, Mirrors, and Bumpers
Powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts, cause more than 100,000 injuries every year. Ensuring that your business has safe forklift conditions is very important. This helps prevent injuries.
Sometimes, it can be hard to see where the truck meets the loading dock leveler. Using a spotter can aid the driver in smoothly directing the load to its destination.
A spotter watches the vehicle from a good vantage point. Spotters also eliminate the risk of the operator driving the forklift off the dock leveler if it isn’t fully backed in.
Bumpers and mirror are also important tools that can be used to ensure dock safety. Use bumpers and set up mirrors appropriately. This will help operators when they back up unloading. Even the most experienced operators will appreciate the extra assistance loading dock equipment brings.
Chocks should be made available to drivers when they have to park a vehicle. Wheel chocks are wedges of heavy material that fit next to a vehicle’s tires to help prevent trailer movement during loading or unloading. It is always a good idea to have a set on-hand at the dock.
3. Keep Your Dock Leveler Well Maintained
If your loading dock leveler is not well maintained, it could end up causing accidents that could have been easily avoided. That is why it is important to keep the structure and pit of your leveler in good shape and get repairs done as soon as they are needed.
A dock area requires a smooth and solid surface to properly balance and carry loads. If your dock leveler has a mechanical lift, you need to make sure it is serviced at regular intervals to ensure that it is in proper working condition. The dock boards should also be rated and maintained to make sure that they are able to support the correct weight.
A maintenance program is also a smart idea for businesses. A reliable dock leveler maintenance routine can minimize the chances of dock leveler repair. it can also reduce work-related injuries. Both factors increase efficiency and reliability of your business operations.
4. Keep Everyone Clear During Loading and Unloading
Making sure that everyone is safe and aware during business operations will greatly minimize accidents and injuries. All employees should be at a safe distance during the loading and unloading of goods.
Only the spotter and operator should be near the load when it is being moved on or off the forklift. Even the slightest distractions can cause injuries to the people near the load, so keeping a calm and professional working environment is key.
Feeling Confident About Your Loading Dock Leveler Safety?
After you read these 4 must-know tips about dock leveler safety, we hope you are feeling confident about your business’s operations.
Check us out to learn more about dock safety and levelers.