While using loading dock levelers to ensure a safe and smooth loading and unloading process at your facility, their safety is an important issue you must consider to prevent mishaps and injuries. Loading dock levelers present potentially dangerous conditions and as a business owner, it’s your duty to maintain a safe working environment. Managing dock leveler safety can be a difficult task because of constantly moving people, vehicles and material. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. To help you out, here are 4 key tips to keep your loading dock leveler safe:
Use a Spotter for Forklifts
It can be difficult for forklift operators to easily see where the truck meets the loading dock leveler, or the end of a dock. Using a spotter, however, can aid the driver in accurately directing the load to its destination. Not to mention, it will also eliminate the risk of driving the forklift off the loading dock leveler if it isn’t fully backed in for loading and unloading. Spotters can also guide operators in knowing how high the load should be lifted in order to safely clear obstacles and avoid overhead obstructions.
Add Chocks, Mirrors and Bumpers
Using bumpers at the end of your dock levelers and setting mirrors appropriately will help operators when they have to back up for loading and unloading. As a matter of fact, even the most experienced forklift operators will appreciate the extra assistance loading dock equipment brings. As for chocks, they need to be made available to drivers when they have to park the truck. However, using trailer locks is also an effective way to prevent any sort of movement while the vehicle is parked.
Keep Your Dock Leveler Well Maintained
If your loading dock leveler isn’t well maintained, it could end up causing some serious accidents which could easily be avoided otherwise. Hence, it’s important to keep the pit and structure of your dock leveler in good shape and get repairs done as soon as they are needed. If the dock area has chunks of missing concrete, it will not provide the smooth and solid surface required to properly balance and carry loads. Moreover, if your loading dock leveler includes a mechanical lift, you need to make sure it’s serviced at regular intervals from the manufacturer. Even the dock boards should be rated and maintained for them to be able to support the weight that is placed on them.
Keep Everyone Clear During Loading and Unloading
And lastly, everyone must be at a distance during the loading and unloading of materials. Only the spotter and the operator should be near the load when it’s being moved onto or off the forklift truck. Even the slightest distractions can cause injuries, not only to the spotter and operator, but also the people near the load.