Safety is a concern in any part of a facility, but there is one area that typically worries managers the most: loading docks.
In today’s fast-paced environment, the loading and unloading of semi-trailers can pose risks for everyone from forklift operators and dock attendants to service technicians and bystanders. In fact, roughly 34,900 people are seriously injured and 85 killed every year in forklift-related incidents in the U.S., according to OSHA. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem since no two facilities—or no two dock stations—are exactly the same. However, the lynchpin in any dock safety system is the vehicle restraint.
Old-Fashion Wheel Chocks
One of the most common loading dock accidents happens when drivers mistakenly drive away while a forklift is still inside the trailer, which is called early separation. Another common problem is “trailer creep,” which occurs when trailers (particularly those with air-ride suspension) gradually move away from the dock due to the ongoing impact and momentum of forklifts traveling in and around them.
In both cases, the first step in accident prevention is to secure the trailer to the dock using a locking device on either the trailer’s rear impact guard (RIG) or rear wheel. Many loading docks still use old-fashion wheel chocks in front of trailer tires as a means of restraint. However, multiple problems can come with this including: insufficient pullout resistance, chock slippage, and the time and safety concerns related to placing them by hand on the busy drive approach. Additionally, chocks have no embedded communication system to let the truck driver, lift driver, or dock personnel know they are in place.| | | Next → | Single Page