01 Dec 2016
Delta Materials

Safety On The Loading Dock: Part 2

Good communication at the loading dock can help prevent many of these accidents. Forklift drivers need to be aware of what's happening at all times as they move around the dock area, and in and out of trailers. But pedestrians also need to be cautious because they are often out of the forklift driver's view.


The solution to these loading dock issues can be simple—improved operator training and clear, status-at-a-glance communication to loading dock personnel.

Start with mandatory forklift operator training that includes clear rules of the road—and put some policing and enforcement behind them. There's also a great deal of value in basic safety devices, such as forklift-mounted mirrors, convex mirrors, and traffic control signs.

Next, take advantage of forklift-pedestrian safety technologies, some of which are designed specifically for loading dock environments. One system, for example, uses lights and an alarm to communicate the status of forklifts inside the trailer. It lets forklift drivers and pedestrians know when a forklift is working inside the trailer so they can exercise proper caution against that forklift backing out.

Lights can also be used to communicate vehicle restraint status to the forklift operator, adding another level of protection against potentially catastrophic trailer-separation accidents.

A variety of other technologies also provide a broad level of safety. An example is proximity laser scanners that create forklift-safe zones throughout the plant or warehouse. Another is the use of motion sensors or infrared systems that alert pedestrians to approaching forklifts.

The bottom line is to ensure everyone working in and around the dock is on the same page—especially when trailers are being serviced. The best advice is to develop and maintain open lines of communication.

Source: InBound Logistics


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