Most Common Loading Dock Accidents

loading dock accidentsBeuschel Sales product line is designed to make your loading dock and warehouse safer and more efficient. Have you ever wondered what kinds of loading dock accidents workers are most at risk for and which injuries are most common? If you don’t know, can you take the correct precautions prevent and minimize accidents in your facility?

Within the warehouse, most accidents occur in these five areas: the loading docks, on or around forklifts, near conveyors, in materials storage, and due to manual lifting and handling. The majority of these accidents are of three types: slip and falls (which make up 25% of all injury claims), injuries from lifting, pushing, pulling, and reaching, and forklift/material handling accidents. Every year the U.S. sees 100 deaths in forklift accidents, and approximately 20,000 workers are injured in them.

Why is the loading dock particularly dangerous? For a number of reasons, the first being that it’s in constant motion with trucks backing up, forklifts loading and unloading, and workers operating machinery. Additionally, while your facility may have spent time and money training your workers in proper safety procedures, the drivers who load and unload at your facility will not all have the same training, so they are a variable that you cannot control. Generally speaking, all people are a variable you cannot control, at least all of the time.

Also, trucks and forklifts are big pieces of machinery, and on the loading dock they are operated in changing conditions. The weather outside may be wet, cold, or very hot. Workers may be hurrying to get themselves or shipped items indoors and away from rain, snow, or heat. It’s an unfortunate fact that when a person and a forklift tangle, the forklift is going to come out the winner. Twenty-five percent of forklift accidents happen when forklifts overturn, but accidents also happen when forklifts back over people or crush workers.

Slip-and-fall accidents are a risk at the loading dock too because of its exposure to water and oil, both of which make surfaces more slippery.  Also, the loading dock is elevated, so there is always the risk that a worker will miscalculate the distance to the edge of it and fall off.

All of the above is why products like dock levelers were invented. Automated products make the warehouse and loading dock environments safer because they take the thinking out of the equation. A worker can push one button and create a more stable ramp with less effort, pulling, and reaching as well. What’s more, a simpler solution means that fewer accidents can happen due to worker distraction.

Beuschel Sales continues to add to its line products that are designed to make workers more aware and protect them and the loading dock from the elements. If you have any questions about those products and how they can make your facility a safer place for your workers, call us today. We’d be happy to assess your workspace and make our recommendations.

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