Complete guide to loading dock leveler maintenance: Inspection and safety

Conducting preventive maintenance at loading docks and warehouses reduces workplace accidents and increases productivity. What does periodic preventive maintenance of loading dock levelers entail? Here is a complete guide for their inspection and maintenance.

It is advisable that the preventive maintenance of loading dock levelers is carried out by qualified personnel to ensure its proper execution and to safeguard their smooth operation, given the difficulty of performing this work and the inspection thereof. It is important that they have a documented work permit, as shown below.

Loading dock levelers that have undergone significant repair should also be inspected. The scope of this inspection will be determined by the repair work carried out.

Maintenance of Loading Dock levelers

There are different types of maintenance for loading dock levelers, whether preventive or corrective, with the former being carried out to maintain the leveler in optimal condition, and the latter as a result of breakdowns.
In the following video, you can see an example of how maintenance is carried out and the steps to follow in its execution, specifically for Alapont Logistics’ vertical loading leveler.

Video Content:

  • Ensure that there is no person or object under the leveler before starting it.
  • Ensure that the safety arm has been previously placed.
  • Raise the vertical loading leveler to its highest point.
  • Disconnect the electrical supply from the control panel.
  • Remove any debris that may be on the leveler or work area.
  • Ensure that the hinge is completely clean.
  • Lubricate the hinges and moving parts of the platform (cylinder axles).
  • Check the condition of the dock structure, axles, pins…
  • Check the oil level of the hydraulic group. The correct level is indicated on the tank.
  • Check the condition of the control panel: hoses, connection boxes, sensors… if water condensation is observed inside the control panel or connection boxes, check the sealing, fittings, and holes made for assembly, in addition to making the necessary modifications to prevent condensation.
  • Check the anchoring state of the loading leveler to the base.
  • Check the condition of the external impact stops.

Safety measures during external personnel access to facilities

During the access of external personnel for loading and unloading in storage facilities, there are a number of hazards that need to be minimized, especially those coming from drivers accessing the facilities.

The measures to avoid the danger posed by the presence of personnel on foot in areas with motorized work equipment include the following:

  • Signage or establishment of physical barriers between footwork and work equipment areas.
  • Keep workers away from equipment whenever possible. If impossible, a safe work system is required, and sometimes, means to help visualize the presence of workers.

Preventive measures:

1- Safety signage to inform external personnel at the external access of the facilities, the loading and unloading area, and the internal passage to other areas.

In the case of external access to the facilities, the areas will also have:

  • No unauthorized persons sign.
  • Warning sign of the presence of forklifts.
  • No driving over 10 km/h inside the warehouses sign.
  • Additionally, a sign will be established for drivers about:
  • The obligation to chock the vehicle if the driver does not remain in the cabin during the loading and unloading operation.
  • Not to be in the action radius during the loading and unloading operation.
  • Use of reflective vest.
  • Use of safety footwear.

2- Immobilization of vehicles.

Vehicles must remain immobilized by mechanical means during loading and unloading operations to prevent them from falling, overturning, or moving uncontrollably, thereby endangering the safety of workers, in accordance with Directive 89/655/EEC.

Moreover, to complete the maintenance of your dock as much as possible, at Alapont Logistics we not only offer a maintenance service for your loading docks, dock shelters, sectional doors, and loading equipment, but also maintenance training courses for the personnel of your logistics centres, as well as spare parts for docks, doors, gangways, and shelters.
If you still have doubts after reading this article, consult us without obligation.

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