Many people, valuable items, and equipment traverse through loading docks every day. As a business owner, you are not only responsible for optimizing your company’s bottom line, but for the safety and security of the goods and people passing through your doors. Making sure you have established loading dock safety procedures is an excellent start. Among the easiest and most effective loading dock safety measure is simply investing in the installation of a high-quality loading dock cover. That’s where Weathercraft steps in, offering professional installation of high-quality products.

Putting Safety and Security First with Loading Dock Covers

Most people don’t take notice of loading dock canopies or covers, but they serve several important safety functions. As a business owner or manager, a loading dock over can assist your operations by helping to…

  • Avoid personal injury. Slick surfaces made slippery by precipitation are a main cause of slip and fall accidents and resulting injuries – not only to employees and customers, but to delivery people, contractors, and any onsite visitors. This could cost you in lost work hours and goodwill, possibly even affecting your reputation.
  • Curtail costly claims. Slip and fall injuries to people on your property could be extremely costly in the form of workers’ compensation claims and the higher insurance premiums that result, not to mention potential litigation for personal injury, negligence, and/or occupiers’ liability.
  • Keep valuables in good condition. Tens – even hundreds – of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, merchandise, fixtures, and business supplies may be going in and out of your warehouse or business property every year. You don’t want costly repairs or replacement of these expensive items due to water damage – or a worker slipping and falling – that could have been prevented.

Additional Loading Dock Safety Tips

Of course, there are other potential hazards in loading docks, especially if there is heavy equipment, large pallets, delivery trucks, and forklifts in the area. In addition to the installation of a secure loading dock cover, warehouse managers can ensure safety through the following measures:

  • Forklift Certification & Setting Safety Protocols. Make sure that forklift operators are certified and keep a vigilant eye out for pedestrians, dock workers, and drivers. Follow standard safety protocols for workers, including that forklifts are to be driven no faster than a regular walking speed and fully lowered when not in use. Have clearly visible signs to alert employees and pedestrians to the movement of forklifts and warning them not to get between forklifts and objects.
  • Dock levelers and dock cross plates. Ensure that all employees and contractors know the dock plate capacity. Keep dock levelers properly adjusted and clear of trash. Ensure that the dock leveler crosses completely into whatever trailer has been backed into position. Always block and brace a raised dock leveler if you have to work beneath it. Make sure that dock levelers are returned to the cradle before trailers or trucks are OK’ed to leave.
  • Trailers and semi trucks. These vehicles can “creep” forward when forklifts are moving in and out – always chock the tires. Make sure a kingpin plate jack stand and trailer landing legs to prevent trailers from tipping during loading or offloading. Keep pedestrians out of trailers during forklift unloading.
  • General hazards. Make sure that dock doors stay closed – if they need to stay open for ventilation, install guardrails. Keep dock areas free of water, snow, and ice as well as tripping hazards – and clean up spills and rainwater that has been tracked in, right away. Ensure that all forklift spot lights and trailer lights are functioning. Remind everyone that they should not “dock jump” or climb into dock doors. Provide any necessary loading dock safety equipment that can help protect workers and visitors.

Reliable, Expert Loading Dock Cover Installation

There is a lot at stake when it comes to securing your staff, customers, guests, and inventory. That means having experienced specialists install your dock covers is crucial. Weathercraft has been an industry leader for over forty years, serving NJ businesses and providing quality dock covers to keep items and personnel safe.

Contact us today – we are always ready and able to recommend the best loading dock canopies and covers for your needs. You may also browse our additional commercial or residential services to see our many areas of expertise.