Poster ID @ Hindi: INDCIOLD/SMP/POSTER/G/H02
Poster ID @ Tamil: INDCIOLD/SMP/POSTER/G/T02
What is the purpose of “Mind the Gap” posters?
The poster acts as a “REMINDER FOR DOCK DOOR SAFETY“.
Warehouse receiving areas are some of the busiest places in a supply chain. Because of the variables involved with receiving such as unknown personnel (truck drivers) in your warehouse, the irregularity of goods received, and changing storage needs after the product is received, this area in any operation can be very difficult to standardize. Amidst the controlled chaos of a receiving area, open dock doors that are not actively being used to unload a truck pose particular hazards for forklift operators and pedestrians. A lack of awareness of open dock doors can lead to dangerous situations that were more than likely preventable. Remembering a few important points about dock door safety might help increase safety while also maintaining as much efficiency as possible.
AS AN OPERATOR, YOU MIGHT EASILY BACK OFF ONE IF YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION
Even if you don’t see them in front of you, open dock doors are still there. It’s a major disaster if, in the middle of operating a forklift to handle material in the receiving area, an operator backs out an open door. Remember that awareness of what is behind you is key in maintaining dock door safety. Some dock levelers can be upgraded to automatically fold up into a protective barrier to help prevent the possibility of back off.
AS A PEDESTRIAN, YOU MIGHT EASILY FALL OFF OF ONE IF PROPER PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.
OSHA standards require that wall opening with a drop of more than 4 feet must be chained off, roped off, or otherwise blocked off. If this precaution is not taken, distracted pedestrians might walk off open docks, potentially being harmed in the fall and being left vulnerable in a busy receiving area where trucks are moving in and out. While ropes or chains meet the OSHA requirement for block off, heavy-duty safety barriers can also be purchased.
AS A PEDESTRIAN AND OPERATOR, YOU MIGHT EASILY FORGET THAT TRUCKS WILL EVENTUALLY FILL THE DOOR.
Dock doors are places where product is moved in quickly. Not every worker in an environment will know exactly when a truck will arrive. When working around a dock door, you must remember that semis are going to be pulling into those spaces, and drivers won’t always have the best visibility when backing in. Therefore, it is the responsibility of forklift operators and pedestrians to stand clear when a semi is arriving.
What are the five categories of accidents that can occur at a dock?
According to ISHN, accidents that occur at the docks can be categorised into five categories, referred to as FACTS:
- Forklift Accidents – The most dangerous items on your loading dock are the machinery. Many loading docks operations move very quickly, like an expertly-directed play or well-oiled machine. All the cogs fit together, that is, until someone drops a wrench in the machine itself. Forklifts can easily topple, fall off edges, or knock smaller items around. Every year over 94,000 people are injured by forklifts. Injuries like this can be very costly for a business, not only for the physical toll they take on employees, but also for the damage they cause to equipment, property, or delayed production.
- Attention and Alertness – As stated previously, loading docks often function like a well-oiled machine. What happens to the machine if just one part is out of sync? Say, for example, someone is tired or sluggish. If an individual gets less than 8-10 hours of sleep per night, they are susceptible to be fatigued. In very fast-paced environments such as manufacturing warehouses or loading docks, common fatigue can be costly. For example, just by receiving less than eight hours of sleep per night American workers are 38 percent more likely to be injured in the workplace. Workers function more safely and efficiently by staying awake, remaining alert, and taking periodic breaks.
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Carbon monoxide is the colorless, odorless gas that seems to billow into loading docks during loading and unloading of vehicles. Poorly ventilated areas of a warehouse can quickly become home to an undetectable cloud of poison. The burning of fuel can easily replace the air we breathe with something much deadlier. The best way to combat this loading dock issue is through proper ventilation and the installation of carbon monoxide alarms. Keeping both the ventilation and the alarms up to date, tested, and working is essential. Your employees will also need to know what to do if and when an alarm sounds. This can be achieved through training and awareness of carbon monoxide.
- Trailer Creep – One of the most frequent accidents that take place in the loading dock area is fall-through, particularly when trucks separate from the loading dock. Many devices such as wheel chocks or other vehicle restraints attempt to prevent rolling or movement of the truck while backing into the loading dock; however, many times communication or human error can leave the vehicle improperly secured. Workers can discover and fix these issues more quickly with the help of a dock leveler, but sometimes employees overlook the attention that should be brought to loading docks
- Slips, Trips, and Falls – Finally, slips, trips, and fall hazards are probably one of the most common in any business or retail store. While wet signs or dangerous area markers are intended to deter this, they’re often overlooked or passed without a thought; however, many barriers, gates, and guardrails are on the market today to stop workers from entering dangerous areas. For example, on a snowy day when the loading dock is wet, cold, and slippery a truck pulls up as a forklift rushes to the open door to unload. The forklift skids right over the loading dock or right into another worker. Accidents like this can be widespread and exceptionally dangerous.
Forklift Accident at Dock
Readings / References
- INCREASING AWARENESS FOR OPEN DOCK DOOR SAFETY – https://www.toyotaforklift.com/blog/increasing-awareness-for-open-dock-door-safety
- Slow down & watch out: Know the FACTS about loading dock hazards – https://www.ishn.com/articles/107356-slow-down-watch-out-know-the-facts-about-loading-dock-hazards