6 Steps You Can Take To Create A Safer Loading Dock

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70% of all reported accidents could have been avoided with proper safety precautions. Use this checklist to help make sure you’re avoiding unsafe situations at the loading dock.

For many industrial facilities, the loading dock is one of the most imperative areas of the business. After all, this is where everything comes in and where it goes out. Unfortunately, it’s also where dangerous and costly accidents can easily occur if proper procedures and equipment are not utilized, particularly when using forklifts in the material transfer zone (MTZ).

Dock Safety must come first, so below are some steps you can take to help create safer loading docks that comply with regulations and accompany your current safety procedures. This loading dock safety checklist is for companies to help them lower risk involved with loading docks, because while cargo is important, your employees are your most important asset. If they’re not safe, then neither is your business.

1. Secure the trailer to the dock using either the trailer’s rear impact guard (RIG) or rear wheel

This rotating-hook, rear impact guard-based vehicle restraint utilizes shadow-hook technology that works with accessible rear impact guards or blocked RIGs in the case of containers with inter-modal chassis.
Wheel-based restraints are another option, they engage with trailer wheels to secure vehicles in place. Both automatic and manual options are available

2. Link the gap between the loading dock floor and the trailer bed

Utilize a dock-leveler, either vertical storing or hydraulic.

3. Identify damage to trailers during inspections

Perform exterior and interior inspections checking for faulty landing gear and the structural integrity of rear impact guards. Never assume someone else has performed the inspection.
Place trailer stands under the nose of spotted trailers to help prevent trailer up-ending and accidents due to landing gear collapse

4. Help ensure the loading dock is free of debris and water using dock seals

There’s a large range of dock seal options, and definitely one to suit all your needs in your dock loading area.



5. Properly establish area protection and pedestrian safety with safety barriers

Fall protection is required by Worksafe for the unprotected loading dock edge with a dangerous drop off. Installing loading dock safety barriers will help prevent accidents, injuries and damage to products while still allowing full access to load and unload trailers.

6. Improve visibility and communication with a light communication system that provides visual cues and audible warnings to pedestrians on and off of forklifts.


According to OSHA in the USA, 70% of all reported accidents could have been avoided with proper safety precautions. While not all encompassing, using these steps along with a well-executed, regulation-abiding safety plan you can help reduce the risk of accidents around the loading dock and keep your business running smoothly.