Although holiday shopping seems to start earlier and earlier each year, the “official” start of the holiday shopping season is still the day after Thanksgiving. If your organization involves shipping services and is affected by the busy holiday season, this is a good time for loading dock safety training. Your training may be:
- Initial training for any seasonal workers you may be hiring during the holidays, and/or
- Refresher training for full-time, permanent workers.
The following information is useful for either group of trainees.
Background on Loading Dock Safety
Who needs to be trained?
No specific standard addresses loading dock safety, but many loading dock hazards—including forklifts, dock plates, and bridge plates—are addressed by specific regulations. Any worker who works on or around your loading docks needs to know about these hazards.
Why train workers on loading dock safety? The holidays can be a dangerous time, combining increased workloads and unusually crowded workspaces with new and temporary employees. Make sure everyone knows how to work safely at this time of year.
Loading Dock Training Guidance
Instructions to trainer: Some workers, such as forklift operators, are subject to specific training requirements that this brief session does not fully cover. Make sure those workers are up-to-date with their job-specific training.
Training session introduction: As the holiday season approaches its peak, workers are struggling to move goods out of warehouses and onto store shelves or directly into buyers’ homes. All of this shipping and receiving activity creates hazards for the people who load and unload trucks.
Don’t spoil your own holiday season by throwing out your back, breaking your ankle, or creating a fire hazard. Stay safe when you’re working on the loading dock by staying aware of the many hazards on and around loading docks.
Loading Dock Safety: The Hazards
Prepare employees who work on and around loading docks to avoid the following hazards.
Holiday hazards. The first potential hazard, ironically, may be the holidays themselves. Make sure workers don’t let their holiday cheer spill over into horseplay and pranks in the workplace, which can lead to serious injury.
Fall hazards. The drop from the edge of the dock to the pavement below doesn’t look scary, but if you fall—or if you jump and land wrong—you could break a bone or suffer a head injury.
Make sure loading dock edges are clearly marked. Stay away from unguarded or open dock edges, and make sure that safety gates, chains, or overhead doors, where available, are kept closed when no trailers are at the dock.
In Friday’s Advisor (the Advisor will be enjoying Thanksgiving tomorrow!), we’ll continue with more training information on several more loading dock hazards.