Even in fair weather, loading docks can be a dangerous place. Heavy loads, massive vehicles, and powerful machinery abounds. Standard safety precautions, on-going inspections, and regular maintenance will keep your workers safe through most of the year.
During the winter, however, things become more uncontrollable and unpredictable. Additional steps are required for proper safety and efficiency. Here are a few things you can actively do to help your warehouse avoid loading dock hazards during the winter.
Keep Things Clear and Dry
This is a number 1 priority any time of the year, but during the winter months, it takes more dedicated effort to make it happen. Snow gets tracked in from outside, creating a wet mess. Near entrances, it can become icy.
A quick mopping can make a big difference. If you’re unable to keep up with the water and snow, you may want to encourage workers to get non-slip shoes or boots. Consider making it a requirement.
Additionally, you can cut down on snow traction with well-placed mats around entrances.
Ensure Lighting is Working and Visible
When snow is blowing and side-mirrors are fogged up or frozen over, it can be almost impossible for drivers to see where the loading dock is. Proper signaling lights not only let them see the distance between their truck and the dock, but they can be used to send additional information, such as whether or not a bay is ready for them.
Maintain Heat as Best as You Can
Keeping your warehouse (and your workers) warm in the winter can be tricky, but it’s important. The cold is hard on equipment, inventory, and the human body. Items such as additional heaters around entryways, strip doors, insulated curtains, and high-speed overhead doors can all help.
Make sure that crewmembers working outside and entry-points are getting breaks and dressing appropriately so that they stay warm.
Keep Dock Leveler’s Raised
With the snow, ice, and general dirtiness of winter, borders and caution lines can be difficult to see. The last thing you want is a forklift toppling over the edge of a dock because the driver couldn’t see where it ended.
A simple way to prevent this is to keep dock levelers raised any time a truck or trailer isn’t pulled up to them.
Need some new dock levelers to get you through Ohio’s winters? Contact Springfield Overhead Door today!