Safety loading docks: Risks, Prevention and Solutions

In the process of loading and unloading the merchandise in the logistics facilities or warehouses, there are an infinite number of risk factors of different severity that can affect both the operators of the docks and the drivers of vehicles and merchandise transport.

Good planning, together with the help of the other security components, can help us minimize the risks that occur at charging points.

Among the main risk factors they face on a daily basis, we can list the following:

  • Entrapment of people between 2 vehicles due to being located between a positioned vehicle and the other manoeuvring.
  • Entrapment of people between a vehicle and a dock or door posts during approach manoeuvres.
  • Be located on the dock next to the door uprights when approaching a vehicle. Fall of people at the same level, or at a different level, due to:
    1. Slippery surfaces due to rain or product spillage.
    2. Due to the poor positioning of the truck in relation to the dock level, allowing the existence of gaps between the dock and the vehicle being loaded or unloaded.
    3. Opening of the dock door without the vehicle being positioned and locked.
  • Fall or overturn of a fendwich.
    Sometimes, there are unexpected exits by the truck that can cause the fendwick that was maneuvering in it to rush. This happens on two occasions, due to a failure in the brakes or because there has been a bad communication between the trucker and the driver of the fendwick who was carrying out the loading and unloading of the merchandise and the truck has left early.
  • Drop of cargo or part of it during transhipment due to:
    1. Existence of a difference in level greater than 12.5% ​​between the surface of the truck bed and the dock.
    2. Use of poorly fixed mobile joint plates between the dock and the truck.
    3. Untimely departure of the vehicle and/or natural displacement of the vehicle during loading or unloading due to the non-use of a truck locking system.
    4. Bad positioning of the truck.
  • Collisions between vehicles or people being run over due to:
    1. Insufficient lighting.
    2. Lack of organization in the maneuvering areas where the simultaneous operation of vehicles and/or the access of personnel is allowed.
    Faced with all these risks, what solutions are there?

The prevention and protection measures are specified in the correct design of the dock, with the existence of leveling ramps, the uniform surface of the approach zone, the control of doors and the existence of safety equipment.

For the design of the loading and unloading area, it is necessary to take into account such important aspects as the number of loading points and vehicles that arrive at the same time, the space for coupling the vehicle, the type of warehouse and product that is going to drive, the distances between the piers and the height of the piers, etc.

On the other hand, there is also an extensive list of complementary security elements, which will help us minimize the risks on the docks. Among them, we can highlight the rubber bumpers, signaling systems, lighting, chocks, reference posts, wheel guides and road markings.

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