Trucking companies in California like Best Yet Express provide a wide-range of services; we provide customers with services ranging from LTL trucking, cross docking, and warehousing. These operations involve a lot of equipment and a lot of movement. Warehouses are bustling places and with all this activity comes the risk of injuries. The loading docks tend to be the most dangerous places due to the high volume and hazardous quality of work being performed in those areas.
One common problem on the loading dock is “trailer creep,” which happens when a trailer will gradually creep away from the dock because of the ongoing impact of forklifts entering and exiting the trailer. Another common accident occurs when a driver mistakenly pulls away while a trailer is still being loaded/unloaded. Unfortunately, many warehousing operators believe that wheel chocks are the solution to these problems.
Wheel chocks are wedged-shaped blocks that are placed in front of a trailer’s rear tires to prevent its movement away from the dock while the trailer is being loaded. This practice has been done for some time, but it’s not without drawbacks. Wheel chocks may slip while they’re in use. Another common problem is that the wheel chocks are simply not used. They have no embedded communication system to let the truck driver, lift operator, and dock personnel know they are in place. Workers may simply forget to use them. If wheel chocks are to be used, warehouses should have procedures in place to assure that they are actually being used and being used properly.
There are other safety devices out there that can help assure loading dock safety and their use is increasing. Most of these devices come with communication systems that let the operator know that the device is engaged and it is safe to load/unload the trailer. One of the most popular is a device that locks to the rear impact guard on the rear of the trailer and prevents it from moving away from the loading dock. These devices can be either mechanically or hydraulically. Wheel-based restraints are also becoming more popular. These restraints engage the trailer wheels and secure the vehicle in place. Dock levelers can also be used as important safety measures. These levelers act as a bridge and ramp to assist in the height transition between dock and trailer. They also come in various mechanical and hydraulic models.
At Best Yet Express, we pride ourselves on employee safety, and while this list may not be exhaustive, these are just a few ways to ensure safety standards are met in a warehouse work place.