Loading docks are one of the busiest areas in industrial facilities, such as distribution centers, manufacturing plants, and warehouses. After all, they are the primary arrival and departure point for shipments and products taken or brought to a building. However, while these systems are important for the productivity of industrial facilities, their safety is often neglected.
Considering the level of different operations that take place in a manufacturing plant or distribution, it doesn’t come as a surprise that loading dock areas can be one of the more hazardous zones in your building. And since facilities vary in terms of layout and size of operations, no one size fits all, across-the-board solution exists to enhance loading dock safety.
Fortunately, there is a range of loading dock equipment available that can help business owners make a huge difference in safety. Not only this, it also improves product flow, reduces energy costs and reduces the need for maintenance and repairs considerably. In this article, we have discussed some useful loading dock equipment you can use to improve safety:
Once installed on loading docks, guarding devices such as stops, dock barricades, guardrails, and bollards help maintain worker safety and prevent the risk of accidents.
- Guardrails can help facilities create a safe loading dock environment by separating loading dock production traffic from pedestrian traffic. They can also be used to protect structures and machinery/equipment from forklift impact damage.
- Bollards are similarly used in building corners or in areas with limited space.
- Stops (steel plates) are also commonly found in loading dock environments. They are placed along raised areas to prevent forklifts and personnel from falling over the edge.
Dock Boards & Dock Plates
These aluminum and steel ramps prove useful in bridging the gap between the loading dock and truck trailer, making it easier for personnel to efficiently load and unload products / shipments from the trailers. The safe use of dock boards and dock plates is extremely important and employees should be trained in this regard because, if poorly placed, they may cause the loads or forklift to overturn. While this type of loading dock equipment can be portable, they may require a forklift to move them.
Available in either mechanical or hydraulic operated models, in addition to providing a bridge between the dock and the truck trailer, dock levelers also help correct the height difference. However, unlike dock boards and dock plates, dock levelers are permanent equipment.
Dock Signaling Devices
This technology is now readily available and can be purchased from almost any dock equipment provider. As the name implies, they utilize signaling devices that indicate whether or not a forklift, pallet jack or person is in the trailer, or that the trailer is secured safely so that it can be entered safely.
With all of these varying options of dock equipment available to help protect your loading dock area and personnel, there are solutions that will fit everyone’s specific needs and budget.