Loading Docks

Hazard: Many injuries occur on or around loading docks due to many factors, such as forklifts running off the dock, products falling on employees, individuals being struck by equipment, and other unsafe practices conducted in this area.

Safety Solutions

  • Be sure that employees drive forklifts slowly on or around docks and dock plates.
  • Secure dock plates and check to see if the plate can safely support the load.
  • Instruct employees to keep clear of the dock edges and to never back up forklifts to the dock’s edge.
  • Place visual warnings near the edges of docks.
  • Loading docks that are four feet or more above the adjacent floor or ground level shall be guarded by a standard railing on all open sides except where there is entrance to a ramp, stairway, or fixed ladder.
  • Prohibit employees from jumping off the dock to lower levels. Employees should be informed that this practice can lead to a serious injury. Make sure proper ladders or stairs are provided consistent with OSHA specifications.
  • Maintain good housekeeping practices in the loading dock environment. Keep the dock areas clean and free of debris. Loading areas should be swept at least once per day or once per shift. Large pieces of debris such as broken pieces of pallets should be picked up immediately.
  • Use wheel chocks or other vehicle-restraining devices when loading or unloading trucks and trailers. Place these devices in front of the rear wheels of a truck or trailer to prevent it from moving away from the dock while it is being loaded or unloaded.