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Working on loading docks is inherently hazardous. There is heavy machinery being used at all times, workers might not be aware of other workers in there vicinity, there are ledges which can be fallen off of, and even a moment of unawareness can pose a threat to workers. Be sure your workers know about the hazards involved with working on a loading dock, and train workers to be proactive about these hazards when they can and reactive when being proactive is not an option. Here are 4 tips to help workers be on the lookout for potential accidents and how to address accidents which have happened.

Know the Hazards. First and foremost, employees should know the most common hazards associated with working on a loading dock. They should keep an eye out for all situations associated with slipping or falling. Be aware of any spills in the loading area and know where the ledges are where they could potentially fall. Also know the hazards associated with the trucks and trailers in the area. Unlocked trailer wheels could cause injury as well as prolonged inhalation of carbon monoxide from idling trucks. Inattentive workers, whether they are carrying parcels or using a forklift, are prone to injury either from improper carrying techniques or careless operation of a forklift.

Keep Floors in Good Condition. Spills should be immediately mopped up. If they cannot be cleared right away, they should be clearly marked so workers can avoid the affected area. Keep areas clear of trash and remove any rubbish which would pose a slipping or tripping hazard. Cracked and broken concrete should be reported immediately so it can be fixed in order to avoid tripping.

Avoid Falls. Employees should know proper dock etiquette and should not be roughhousing on the dock area. Even if they are pushing and shoving just for fun, any misstep can cause a serious injury. Workers should always walk and not run on loading docks, and they should wear sturdy shoes which will not slip on smooth surfaces. Most importantly, workers should simply watch where they are going and not become distracted when walking near any area which drops off.

Be Aware of Truck and Trailer Safety. All truck and trailer wheels should be checked to ensure that they are properly locked before any loading or unloading begins. Drivers should also switch off the motors on their trucks to prevent carbon monoxide exposure for workers.

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