Eight tips for a safe loading dock

In 2012-13, about 15 per cent of workplace injury claims in the road freight transport industry were the result of someone being hit by a moving object or being trapped between a stationary and moving object. Being hit by a forklift, for example, caused numerous serious (sometimes fatal) injuries.

When loading or unloading is underway, follow these handy tips to ensure that everyone remains safe:

• Separate pedestrians from traffic flows with barriers, such as guard rails, bollards or fences

• have clearly marked walkways and warning signs in busy traffic areas

• install ‘exclusion zones’ around trucks involved in loading or unloading – and forbid access to pedestrians

• schedule deliveries so that the loading dock is never overcrowded

• ensure forklifts are fitted with warning lights, reversing signals, seat belts, alarms and mirrors – and ensure operators are trained and hold the appropriate high risk work licence

• provide ‘safe zones’ for drivers if they are not required for loading or unloading activities

• provide clear site and safety instructions to visitors and drivers, so they know where to go and what to do when loading or unloading is underway

• ensure all those involved in loading or unloading are working to the same plan and know who will be in control, how to communicate and what equipment to use.

For more information on working safely in loading docks, watch this video.

Get some more tips and advice at workcover.nsw.gov.au or call us on 13 10 50.

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