The loading dock can be a dangerous place – this is a fact. If you search Google for “loading dock accident,” there are always recent articles about people who have been hurt or even killed, lawsuits that have been filed, and companies that have been ordered to pay large fines by OSHA as a result of their negligence.
On average, loading docks see workers and product cross their thresholds 100,000 times per year. Given that loading docks are filled with heavy, mobile equipment and manned by a variety of people with different levels of training and competence, it’s inevitable that there will be accidents. In fact, every year there are approximately 62,000 forklift accidents that result in 35,000 serious injuries. Fortunately, a spectrum of equipment is available to help prevent those accidents. Today we will be talking about how gates and barriers prevent accidents and increase safety at the loading dock.
Gates and Barriers Prevent Falls
Falls are very common to loading docks. OSHA lists Fall Protection as the #1 most violated guideline it has. In fact, $5.3 billion, or 8.7% of disability claims, are the result of a fall to a lower level. On its website, OSHA states:
“Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.”
How can businesses prevent their workers from falling? With gates and barriers. Gates like the Work Safe Gate protect workers by visually signalling danger. Its OSHA-qualified 42-inch top rail stops up to 200 pounds of force from any direction, can be operated without electricity, and can be locked out with a padlock.
Beuschel Sales also offers a Dock Impact Barrier that is built to withstand 10,000 pounds at an impact speed of 4 miles per hour. This gate is 42 inches high as well and, like the Work Safe Gate, can stop 200 pounds of force from any direction. A foot latch manually raises the gate with a gas spring assist that makes for easy operation. This barrier is designed for doors 6-10 feet wide.
Our Dock Impact Barrier – LC product offers the same rigorous protection as the Dock Impact Barrier but with a reduced overhead clearance requirement of 30 inches less. This 42-inch barrier is also manually operated, withstands 200 pounds of force from any direction, and 10,000 pounds at an impact speed of 4 miles per hour. This barrier is designed for doors 8-10 feet wide.
These may seem like simple solutions, but their purpose is to keep employees and workers away from places where falling is a danger. Gates and barriers do exactly that. Each of these products is designed to be easily operated and to take an impact in the place of a worker. Adding them to your company’s workspace will automatically make it a safer place.
If you would like to discuss your options for safety equipment, call Beuschel Sales today. Our goal is to make loading docks in Michigan safer and better.