Your business’ loading dock is a portal between your warehouse and the open economy. As soon as your merchandise enters the trucks, it is off to be consumed by your demographic and customer base. As a small business owner, you essentially rely on this customer base for survival. This is exactly why you want to make your shipping and receiving process a lot more efficient – and safer. When it comes down to it, you could be putting both your workers and your merchandise in a precarious state by not taking measures to make this process safer. Backs can get thrown out, trucks can get damaged, and merchandise can be rendered useless. Here are five loading dock safety tips for your small business.
- Make sure to have markers, so trucks know where to line up. When it comes down to it, every time a driver pulls in backwards to line up with your shipping and receiving dock, he or she is using a lot of spatial awareness skills. However, it can be hard to be precise and accidents can happen. This is why placing markers is so important.
- Make sure to train employees and create protocols for safety. It is also critical to train employees and to create protocols for safety, especially after an employee has been hired. It is imperative that an employee knows what safety gear to wear and what hazards to stay away from. If you don’t create these protocols and training standards, you will have a much higher incidence of injury. It will also be important to remind employees through the use of visible signs.
- Make sure to invest in dollies and yard ramps. As a small business owner, it may be tough to invest in certain equipment and machinery, but you want to have a few basics on hand. These basics will ensure that your employees stay safe during the loading process. For instance, yard ramps will be important if you have heavy merchandize and need to load trucks with a forklift. A yard ramp will be able to hold the weight of a forklift and it will make sure that merchandise makes it inside the truck safely.
- Make sure to organize your docks. It is also critical to organize your docks. If you have boxing materials, plastic wrappers and other detritus crowding your docks, you need to make sure that you throw all these items away. If you don’t, it will be tough to complete a safe load and unload. Moreover, you want to have a clear area that demarcates where to drop the ramps and even the spaces where trucks park.
- Make sure that more than one employee is loading a truck. Of course, you want to prevent injuries by making sure that more than one employee is loading a truck at one time. If you have one employee loading a truck, it could be a recipe for disaster. In the end, an employee should always have a spotter – especially if the merchandise is incredibly heavy.