Understanding the Workplace » Loading Docks

Figure 1. Always look in the direction of travel. Be careful at the edges of the loading docks.
Figure 1. Always look in the direction of travel. Be careful at the edges of the loading docks.

Loading docks can be dangerous places for forklifts. Falls from a loading dock in a forklift can be fatal.

For information on entering truck trailers and railroad cars, see Truck Trailers and Railroad Cars.

Loading docks

Figure 2. Use curbed ramps and dockboards to keep lift trucks from sliding.
Figure 2. Use curbed ramps and dockboards to keep lift trucks from sliding.
 

When operating a forklift on a loading dock, slow down, watch out for others, and be aware of the edge of the dock.

Potential Hazards

  • Falling off the edge of the dock.

  • Skidding or slipping due to wet or icy conditions.

Requirements and Recommended Practices

  • Maintain a safe distance from the edge of loading dock.

  • Watch out for tail swing.

  • Keep working surfaces clear and clean.

  • Paint the edges of the loading dock to improve visibility.

Figure 3. Paint the edges of loading docks  to improve visibility. Check for pedestrians, over vehicles, and other obstacles when exiting trailers.
Figure 3. Paint the edges of loading docks to improve visibility. Check for pedestrians, over vehicles, and other obstacles when exiting trailers.
 
Figure 4. Painted edges of loading docks to improve visibility.
Figure 4. Painted edges of loading
docks to improve visibility.