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Loading Dock Safety Checklist

It can be quite the challenge ensuring that the loading dock is safe. There are rules to follow and equipment like loading dock ladders that make access on and off the dock safer. offers the following safety checklist to ensure safety is priority # 1 when using your loading dock.

  • All personnel need to be trained in dock safety and ALL rules must be enforced.
  • The wheel chocks on ALL vehicles must be used at the dock.
  • Train all powered industrial truck operators to yield the right away to pedestrians.
  • Identify overhead obstacles, parking aisles, doorways, and walkway barriers with yellow tape.
  • Place guards or padding around sharp corners to protect those traveling throughout the facility.
  • Put into place an inspection program that will include the review palletized materials. Product should be removed from defective pallets and placed on a safe one.
  • Conduct a review of the ergonomics of the warehouse. The height of conveyors should be adjusted in order to alleviate stress to the lower back. Heavier products will need to be placed at knee to chest level and the amount of weight a worker carries should be limited. Assisted lifting will also need to be a practice.
  • Guards need to be installed on rollers, gears and conveyor sprockets. Moreover, all pinch points are to be labeled and protected.
  • For storage or transportation, metal or plastic banding is to be used in order to secure products to pallets.
  • Product that is loose will need to be shrink wrapped for storage or transport. This will prevent smaller items from falling through the overhead guard of the lift truck.
  • Dock areas need to be periodically cleaned out. This will keep them free of debris accumulation.
  • Forklifts, hand jacks, and/or powered hand trucks should ONLY be operated by employees that have been authorized, documented and trained via OSHA standards.
  • Conduct a dock inspection in order to ensure that the emergency equipment is neither damaged nor blocked.
  • Trailer restraints or wheel chocks are required to be used at every bay and all employees are made aware of this. (Keep in mind that this is the LAW).
  • For a better view of the dock, the edge will need to be painted a reflective yellow.
  • Confirm that the loading dock ladders from the dock floor to the dock are in compliance with OSHA specifications.
  • Proper illumination for the following needs to be in compliance with OSHA 1910.24: steps, handrails and exit doors.
  • Mark and identify overhead hazards that include: electric wires, doors and pipes
  • Do NOT permit dock jumping. This can lead to serious injuries to the back, knee and ankle.
  • Verify that the dock boards and plates have been designed for lift trucks and loads.