5 Loading Dock Safety Tips for Truckers
Truckers perform some of the riskiest jobs in the world. Docking, in particular, exposes them to various forms of injury risks and property damage. While safety is not solely the truckers’ responsibility, taking proactive measures can greatly reduce the risk of accidents at docking stations. Here are a few docking safety tips every trucker should be aware of:
1. Use the right docking equipment
Docking equipment is a massive investment. However, this should not be a reason to close your mind to the idea of repairing or replacing broken and potentially dangerous loading tools. If you need help with new equipment or want to add to what is in your arsenal, PartsBrite.com stocks various repair and replacement parts, from dock lights and lock parts to springs, hold downs, and other leveler parts.
2. Always ensure the truck is well restrained
Some safety docking protocols require that visual verification is done to ensure trailers are restrained properly before loading commences. This is not a common cause of accidents at docking, but it can be incredibly detrimental if it happens. You might want to install a camera system that gives you an external view of your truck, so you don’t have to step outside to confirm that the trailer is secured.
3. Use proper safety gear
Just like dock workers, truck drivers and assistants should always be in full safety gear whenever they are at the dock, no matter the time they spend there. Always wear closed-toe footwear, a safety vest, ear protection, a safety helmet, and eye protection if you are involved in any of the loading operations. For truckers who don’t have to get out of the vehicle while loading takes place, there might be no need for any of these PTEs.
4. Follow the right loading and unloading procedures
Every trucker and docking worker should have the correct training for handling various types of freight both for their safety and good protection. For all cargo, the right hand cart or lift truck should be used. Truckers should not be tempted to lift pallets and skids alone, as this may result in muscle strain. If there is a need to, always ensure you bend at your knees, so the weight is supported by your leg muscles, not your back. Take extra caution when handling combustible materials and harmful chemicals. Ensure there are no spills and the seals are strong enough to see you through the journey.
5. Watch out for pedestrians
When driving into or out of the loading dock, always be watchful for people on foot. Accidents that happen this way may not be prevalent, but they can be extremely injurious when they happen. Make sure the way is clear anytime you enter the dock, and give enough signals that you are on your way in for good measure.
There is a wide range of accidents you can get into in a dock. While you cannot shield yourself from everything, following safety protocols and being on the lookout can protect you from the most obvious ones. Always keep in mind the above guidelines everywhere you go, and follow any special guidelines provided at specific loading docks.