According to Mid Columbia Forklifts, 25% of industrial accidents occur at loading docks. EHS Today have estimated that there are around 600 near misses and so people that do not suffer accidents at this point are deemed to either be lucky or have the right loading dock products at their disposal.
Regardless of your budget, even the smallest investment when it comes to product dock loading products will make all the difference. So which ones do you need? Hire Forklifts are here to help.
If your warehouse has a loading dock that sits at around 6-12 inches higher than conventional trailers, then you’ll find a wheel riser to be most beneficial. Once the trailer floor is level with your own loading dock, you’ll be able to :
- Optimise overhead clearance when it comes to the trailer’s interior
- Improve safety both at the loading docks and throughout your warehouse
- Reduce wear and tear, that often happens unnecessarily, on your warehouse equipment
You’ll be able to purchase wheel risers that are either 18 inches or 24 inches in width. This way, you’ll be able to accommodate a range of trailers, including box trucks and single, dual or tandem axle trailers.
Dock levellers & loading dock plates
Also known as pit levellers, these particular pieces of equipment aim to bridge the gap between trailers of varying heights and the loading dock. A dock leveller, or pit leveller, enables forklifts to travel quickly, responsibly and safely from the warehouse to the trailer and back again, often multiple times.
If, however, you do not use forklifts to go from the warehouse to the trailer, then a dock plate will be advantageous to you. Dock plates are not only portable, but are designed to be used in conjunction with pallet jacks and even hand trucks, for example, making it an ideal solution for many warehouses.
A dock board is a far less expensive option that can also be used with heavier pieces of material handling equipment, including forklifts. Dock plates, levellers and boards will only create a bridge between the edge of the loading dock and the trailer – something that’s important to note. You should also take into account the following:
- The aforementioned do not hold the truck in place
- If the truck pulls away from the loading dock prematurely, then it could put your staff at risk of injury or even death
- You will need to use wheel chocks or a trailer locking system in conjunction with dock plates, levellers and boards to ensure maximum safety at all times
Wheel chocks/trailer restraint systems
As previously mentioned, these are used in conjunction with loading levellers, plates and boards. It prevents gaps opening up between the trailer and the loading dock, stopping employees from falling, tripping or slipping. When used properly, wheel chocks are an inexpensive solution, mitigating the risk of this particular accident occurring at all. You should note that wheel chocks are often called trailer restraint systems or a dock lock.
Commercial overhead doors
A new, upgraded overhead door is beneficial to your warehouse for a number of reasons, including:
- Keeping pests out of your warehouse
- Preventing workplace theft
- Protecting your inventory from the elements, including rain, wind and snow
- Reducing energy bills by way of added insulation
- Maximising climate control inside your warehouse
- Moving more product efficiently
- The door itself is virtually maintenance-free
- Adding a wow factor to both your premises and your operations
A pretty self-explanatory piece of loading dock equipment, dock lights are important for a number of reasons, including ensuring the safety of your workforce. Dock lights will also help your workers to spot pallets and stack them when both loading and unloading. A dock that’s well-lit tends to operate far more efficiently and productively than a dock that’s dimly-lit.
Loading bay edge protection
An area with unprotected drops of four feet or more requires a permanent handrail, safety net or safety gate in order to protect workers from skips, trips and falls. This is also outlined in the OSHA regulations. It’s imperative that your warehouse is complying with the rules set out by OSHA, so install chains, rails or safety gates at the edges of all of your loading docks.
Hire Forklifts have over 30 years’ of experience in the material handling industry. We’ve been providing customers throughout the UK with ideal warehouse solutions to ensure operations run as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. For more information about our forklift hire or to enquire about our warehouse equipment rental service, get in touch with one of our professionals today – we’re happy to hear from you.