A business’ shipping and receiving location is its nerve center. This is exactly why warehouse efficiency is so important. One of the most important facets of warehouse efficiency is how quickly an employee can load and unload trucks that lock in at the dock. However, the docking area is often the most dangerous place for warehouse workers, because it is where most injuries occur. Not only can employees trip and fall, but merchandise can tumble out and get damaged. If you have too much damaged merchandise, you could be in some serious trouble. This is exactly why setting up protocols to reduce accidents and injuries is so imperative. Here are five loading dock accident prevention tips.
- Create a protocol for safety. If you don’t have a protocol for safety, you need to create one now. This is important for the sake of keeping your workers safe and for keeping your merchandise intact. When it comes down to it, these protocols should be imparted during training and there should be reminders in the form of handbooks and visible signs.
- Make sure two dock workers are on the dock and in the truck. One of the most important things to include in your protocol is the requirement of having two people to handle merchandise when it enters the trucks. There should be one person receiving the merchandise and another person loading. If you don’t have a spotter, it can create all sorts of problems. A worker could potentially not mind the gap between the truck and the dock, and fall though. In the end, having two people on the dock is imperative – it may even save lives.
- Place a pull-in marker for trucks. It is also critical to have a pull-in marker for trucks. If your drivers aren’t sure where to pull trucks, they will be inching and guessing the whole time. This can create scenarios where your drivers accidentally bump into the dock. This can injure your driver and it can cause significant injuries to employees on the dock. Moreover, it can cause lots of damage to your trucks. This is why you may want to place stoppers on your loading dock floor – to prevent trucks from going too far.
- Use a dock board to prevent trips and falls. A dock board is essentially a small ramp that can be used to provide leverage and safe landing between the truck and the dock. If your trucks don’t already have a landing board, you probably want to invest in them if you want to provide the most efficient and safe way to unload and load your merchandise. Without a landing board, you are putting your employees at risk.
- Invest in hand-trucks and dollies. Of course, you also want to invest in hand-trucks and dollies. Instead of forcing your employees to lift heavy items themselves, you’ll want to purchase hand-trucks and dollies that can easily transport product back and forth. Not only will dollies protect your merchandise and make transport easier – it will also save a few tired backs.