Every year, thousands of workers sustain injuries as a result of loading dock accidents. Several types of hazards are commonplace on loading docks, from large loads and congested workspaces to deafening noise levels and large trucks. With so many risks in place, it’s important for employers and employees to practice extra caution and have safety guidelines in place in these environments.
The following are some of the most common dangers that workers face at loading docks.
Falling Off the Loading Dock
Many workers including forklift operators, dock workers, and truck drivers could sustain serious injuries after falling from a dock.
Loading docks are intended to expedite the transference of goods, which is why they are located at a height that allows workers to easily reach semi-trailers. Typically, the height of a dock is around 48 inches, but they can be as high as 55 inches in some cases.
Serious injuries often occur when dockhands or truck drivers loading or checking the trailer fall off the dock. Forklifts could also slip into the gap between the truck and the dock, particularly if the truck driver prematurely detaches the trailer from the dock.
Caught in or Between Equipment
In some cases, workers might get caught in or between pallets and forklifts. They could also become pinned between a truck’s trailer and the loading dock. Another type of incident that could take place is crushing beneath improperly secured loads.
Struck By Equipment
Certain types of equipment such as falling pallet jacks or debris could injure workers. These injuries could be mild or severe depending on the weight of the equipment and the force of impact.
Determining Responsibility in Loading Dock Accidents
One of the most common contributors to loading dock accidents and injuries is inadequate load safety. This often falls under the responsibility of the truck driver. Drivers need to inspect cargo to make sure it’s properly loaded. It’s equally important for manufacturing facilities and warehouses to ensure that loads are secure and adhere to load safety guidelines.
Employers responsible for workplaces with loading docks also need to make sure safety protocols are in place and that hazards aren’t present.
With the proper precautionary measures and mitigation of the risks at loading docks, employers, dock workers, truck drivers, and others can maintain a safer work environment.