How to Improve Loading Dock Safety This Winter

Most business owners and regional managers acknowledge that the winter season presents additional safety risks to loading dock workers. Freezing temperatures, snow, and ice exacerbate slipping and falling hazards. Risk management enables your business to minimize liabilities linked to damages and accidents on your premises. 

Let’s explore some of the best practices businesses can take to keep their loading docks safe.

How to Improve Loading Dock Safety This Winter

Here are some of the most common ways to improve loading dock safety:

1. Use Bright Colored Tape to Demarcate Walkway Barriers

Heavy machinery, and forklifts pose a significant safety risk to workers during winter. Using brightly colored tape to demarcate walkway barriers, overhead obstacles, doorways, and paring aisles minimizes the risk of accidents. OSHA regulations stipulate that yellow is the ideal safety color in loading docks. 

Preparing Your Business for Winter With Snow and Ice Management CTA

2. Deicing Treatment

Ice accumulation on loading docks increases the risk of slipping and falling on hard surfaces and heavy machinery. Fast-acting deicers such as rock salt help clear your parking lots or walkways. Deicing treatment also minimizes your business’s exposure to legal liabilities resulting from worker slips and falls. 

3. Check Your Loading Zone Doors

Begin by inspecting the seals on the loading dock door. The seal’s integrity prevents snow, slush, ice, or sleet from seeping into your facility. Freezing temperatures and precipitation can expose your premise’s door to freezing, heightening the possibility of damage. 

Such conditions also make loading dock floors slippery, wet and icy, posing a danger to forklift operators and other workers on the loading dock floor. Remember to keep the loading dock door shut when not in use to prevent snow, water, ice, or sleet from seeping into your facility. 

Inspecting your loading dock also involves ensuring that the loading dock drive is clear. If the area is covered in thick snow or ice, you can use a plow truck to haul and stack the snow. 

loading dock safety

4. Prevent Trailer Creep

Ice and strong winds pose a significant risk to standing trailers and trucks. While wheel chocks help curtail trailer creeps, they are not enough. Reliable solutions and interwoven tactics limit trailer creeps by acting as contingencies in case one solution fails. 

Trailer restraints hold trucks in situ while workers move goods from the trailer to the warehouse. Trailer restraint models that attach to the truck’s back impact guard offer better safety. 

5. Review Visibility

Begin by checking the condition of your loading dock’s exterior lights. Ensure that they are working and bright when switched on. Shorter days during winter mean that delivery trucks may arrive before sunrise and after sundown. 

Blustery snow also minimizes visibility, making it harder for loading dock workers to see distant machinery. Bright lights and signaling devices reduce the risk of accidents in loading docks. 

Prepare Your Loading Dock for Winter

Winter poses a significant challenge to business owners and regional managers looking to increase the safety of their loading docks. At Strategic Grounds, we understand this and provide comprehensive, exceptional solutions to keep your workers safe. We also offer your workers advice on safety precautions and measures.

Contact us today for all your loading dock safety needs. 

Download The Year-round Interior & Exterior Services Brochure


Subscribe for Updates

Get Tips And Insights From The Strategic Grounds Team

View Archives