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Five Easy Ways to Enhance Loading Dock Safety

03 February, 2023

Warehouses are busy work environments. Keep loading dock workers moving efficiently and safety using these tips:

  • 25% of all industrial accidents happen at the loading dock
  • $135 million in direct costs from loading dock accidents annually 
  • More than 20 people are killed every year by semi-trucks at loading docks 

Situational awareness is important when working at loading docks. Sensory overload and accidents can happen when workers move at a rapid pace to keep up with production. Accidents and injuries can affect companies through OSHA fines, insurance claims and interrupted production. Companies can use simple tips to improve loading dock communication, safety, and efficiency. 


Load up on Safety

 Workplaces that handle materials can avoid 70% of all accidents by using better precautions. Modern technology and training assist warehouse and dock safety though hazard recognition, locking dock control and warning systems. Here are six ways to reinforce dock safety:

  1. Floor marking: Visual communication is crucial to keep employees safe. Use floor marking tape to identify fall hazards and forklift traffic.
  2. Cleanliness and organization: Slips, trips and falls are among the most common injuries near loading docks. External hazards can create treacherous conditions. It can decrease the risk of employee injury when the area is cleaned regularly. 
  3. Forklift training: Forklifts account for 100 deaths and 20,000 injuries annually. They run the risk of driving off the edge of the loading dock and striking pedestrians. Proper forklift training is necessary to prevent serious injuries and keep the operation running smoothly. 
  4. Preventing dock separation accidents: There are several factors that play into dock separation accidents including: landing gear collapse, trailers rising off platforms due to load shift and trailer creep. These accidents can be deadly and are easy to prevent. Wheel chocks, vehicle restraints and landing gear stabilizers are all simple solutions that save lives. 
  5. PPE: It is crucial that workers always remain visible in the heavy traffic that often occurs around loading docks. High visibility clothing should be worn. Hard hats are also recommended to protect against falling objects. 
  6. Improve Communication: Reinforce safety messages with communication to improve visibility. Document maintenance and other heavy machinery handling. Post signs to alert to dock plate loading weight capacities and other loading information. 


Workplaces can execute continuous hazard prevention and reduce the risk of loading docks accidents through the implementation of Graphic Products' wide range of safety best practices, trainings and signs