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7 tips for truckers to stay safe around loading docks

12/7/2020

7 tips for truckers to stay safe around loading docks

Truckers may not think much about their job-related safety when they're not on the road, but there are actually plenty of issues they have to consider any time they pull up to a loading dock. After all, it's not just their own safety they have to think about when in these areas of heavy activity; they also have to consider how their behavior impacts the people who are putting in the hard work of loading and unloading their trailers.

As such, it's critical to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep yourself and others safe around the loading dock on an ongoing basis. That should include the following:

1) Chock it and dock it

When you back into your spot at a loading dock, it's important to make sure the vehicle doesn't shift, according to Capstone Logistics. That means chocking the wheels and, whenever possible, attaching the trailer itself to the loading bay. This is something most truckers know to do, but some may not always be as diligent about it as they should be.

2) Keep an eye out for risks — or just ask

Every loading dock has its own way of operating and truckers can't be expected to know how to act or where to go, Capstone Logistics noted. Often, companies will have their own rules for how truck drivers should interact with their own employees, equipment and so on. With that in mind, simply asking what you should do or where to go will be a great way to keep safe.

3) Watch your step

No matter what you're doing on a loading dock, you should always make sure to walk carefully, according to Naumann Hobbs. There may be snow, ice or puddles accumulated in certain parts of the floor, or just trash, as well as the flurry of worker and forklift activity, so try to keep your head on a swivel and avoid distraction.

4) Follow all proper lifting procedures

If you ever have to pick up something on a loading dock (rare, but it does happen), it's important to be cognizant of all proper lifting strategies, Naumann Hobbs added. Lifting with your knees rather than your back is the big one, but there are other considerations, too. You should always keep them in mind.

5) Make sure dock plates are used

You never want to leave a gap between your truck and the loading dock, and ensuring the big metal plate is in place before you step from one to the other is vital, Naumann Hobbs cautioned. That way, the odds of making a misstep and falling between the two are limited.

6) Use high-quality shoes and gloves

As with many other things in industrial settings, you should always protect your hands and feet from crushing, pinching and other risks, according to Shoes for Crews. Thick leather gloves and steel-toed shoes are a must.

7) Make sure nothing shifts during shipping

Finally, you should always try to ensure your loads are all properly secured before you head out, but sometimes, items can shift as you drive, Shoes for Crews noted. If you are asked to help load or unload, be extra cautious about items that could have moved.

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