Your loading dock presents safety challenges at any time of the year. The area has a combination of large trucks getting in and out, with heavy loads on their backs. With all the activities that go on, a lot can go wrong.
In winter, things can get worse as the season presents more challenges than any other time of the year, thanks to ice and snow. Unforeseen harsh weather is why you must have loading dock safety measures in place. To ensure you are doing everything right, consider hiring professional grounds management services.
Loading Dock Safety Measures in Winter
Ice and snow cause the loading dock to be less safe and more prone to accidents like:
- Slipping, tripping, and falling: falls are the second most common source of workers’ compensation claims. A slippery dock increases the risk of accidents. Dock shelters can help you deal with the frustration that comes from snow and ice.
- Trailer/dock separation: forklifts can accidentally push trailers a long distance away from the dock. Without the proper controls, the dock boards can slip and send the forklift off the edge, leading to fatal results.
- Falling over the edge of docks and dock ramps: Forklift operators are at risk of these accidents as they move up and down the steep grades at the dock. Storing dock levelers in a raised position can create an effective security barrier when not actively in use.
- Accessibility for early morning deliveries: Loading docks must be clear and accessible to accommodate early morning deliveries, especially if snow is piled in front of the dock. Strategic Grounds Management makes sure that the area leading up to the dock is clear before any deliveries are expected and has the equipment available to remove or back drag snow away from the dock.
When such accidents happen, delays happen in deliveries and can affect your business adversely in the long run if not resolved quickly enough. Luckily, you can take preventative measures to prevent these accidents and keep the dock safe for workers and trucks.
Shoveling and Clearing
You need to stay ahead of shoveling because it is your best defense against ice and snow buildup. It would be best to clear Parking lots, ramps, sidewalks, and stairs often, even when the amount of snow is small. Usually, the snow will start to melt and freeze shortly after, creating layers of ice. Prevent this from happening by shoveling immediately and ensuring you push the snow a reasonable distance away from the loading dock.
While shoveling helps remove the physical barrier of snow, salting comes in handy to melt ice and provide traction to prevent skidding. Ensure you wash off any salt when the weather is warmer to prevent it from rusting metal surfaces and damaging concrete.
Keep Doors Closed
It is very tempting to leave the doors open when loading in and out of the loading dock. However, this does more harm than good as it can lead to ice buildup around the entrance. Besides, it also jacks up your energy bills.
Placemats in Strategic Areas
Well-placed mats in accident-prone areas play a significant role in keeping the floors safer and cleaner. They prevent snow from being tracked inside, where it melts and makes the floor slippery.
Hiring a Professional
Keeping the loading dock free from snow and ice in winter can be a lot of work, but not when you have an experienced and professional snow removal contractor on your team. Download your free ebook below to learn more about securing snow and ice removal services this winter, and contact our corporate office if you are ready to talk with one of our experts.