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Preventing Loading Dock Truck Accidents

Loading docks are a workplace filled with people and trucks. Occasionally, a bad truck accident takes place on the loading dock. In almost all cases, these accidents are completely preventable if employees do the following:

1) Drivers should avoid walking in front of lift trucks. Although it seems obvious, truck drivers are sometimes so used to lift trucks that they do not use due caution around them. Drivers should always be careful when entering or exiting their truck cab.

2) Drivers should check for lift trucks before pulling away. Once again, this seems obvious, but familiarity breeds a casual attitude that can lead to truck accidents and pedestrian accidents. Drivers should walk around their vehicle to make sure the lift truck is not still in the trailer. Once in the cab, drivers should carefully check blind spots before pulling away.

3) All workers on loading docks should watch for trailer movement. Many injuries are caused by trailers moving when someone climbs into them. All employees at loading docks should make sure that ramps, levelers, and dockboards are secure and that the trailer is braked and choked.

4) Loading docks should keep pedestrians away. Loading docks would see fewer personal injuries and pedestrian accidents if lift truck traffic and pedestrian traffic were separated by pedestrian walkways that are protected by rails. Employees of loading docks should be taught to never walk under a lift or load. Signs indicating this advice should be well posted.

5) Loading docks should keep speed limits low. Higher speeds on ramps, dockplates and bridge plates can cause accidents when these items are loosened by acceleration. Slow speeds ensure that accidents are less likely. In addition to traveling slowly, truck drivers and lift operators should have someone spot them in areas where visibility is poor due to obstructions.

6) Loading docks should offer well-lit work areas. Good lighting ensures that lift operators, employees of the loading docks, and lift truck operators can see each other. Good lighting also ensures that any problem areas or weaknesses in dockplates, bridge plates and ramps can be seen and fixed promptly.