The loading dock is an area of your facility that sees a lot of foot and vehicle traffic even during slower times, let alone the holiday season. For that reason, you may need to do more to make sure the workers — and visitors — to that part of your property are as safe as possible, especially during the more dangerous winter months.
The following tips should help you get a better handle on this issue and keep everyone safe during these hectic times:
1) Have plenty of sand and rock salt
One of the biggest safety issues in the winter months is sidewalks and work areas alike can become slippery with snow, ice and puddles, according to Beuschel Sales. Consequently, you should be proactive about laying down sand and rock salt to increase foot traction and effectively deal with those hazards on an ongoing basis.
2) Give workers proper protective equipment
Often, your loading dock workers will face frigid temperatures in addition to harsh winter weather, and they need to be protected, Beuschel Sales noted. Giving them warm clothing like gloves, face protection and so on, that can hold up to the rigors of the job, will help reduce injury and exposure risk.
3) Make sure drivers and staff secure vehicles
With so many slipping and sliding risks, it's important to make sure trucks, forklifts and other rolling machinery aren't a hazard, according to APS Resource. Make sure e-brakes are engaged, wheels are chocked, and trucks are properly secured to the loading bay.
4) Light it up
With winter weather comes shorter days and that can limit visibility for workers and visitors alike, APS Resource said. As a result, you need to make sure all areas on and around your loading dock are well-lit, and that any burnt-out bulbs are replaced as soon as they're spotted.
5) Keep the doors in good working order
A good, effective door is important for any loading dock, so it's vital that workers to inspect these critical parts of your facility on a regular basis, APS Resource further cautioned. If they're not closing properly, or get stuck on occasion, it's time to fix the problem before it gets worse.
6) Put down slip-resistant flooring
Even as you're making sure floors are properly protected from slipping hazards, you probably shouldn't be putting down sand where things like pallet jacks or dollies are operating, according to Industrial Supply Magazine. Instead, it might be a better idea to install slip-resistant flooring so workers can be assured they will keep traction on an ongoing basis.
7) Keep the area around the dock shoveled
Sometimes there's just too much snow on the ground for sand and salt to clear up the issue, and often, even plowing won't fully get the job done, Industrial Supply Magazine added. For that reason, it's important to shovel out the last remaining areas of snow accumulation by hand, so risk is kept to an absolute minimum.