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6 Safety Tips to Add to Your Loading Dock Checklist

Safety Checklist

In a busy world where two-day shipping is the new trip to the mall, loading docks everywhere are being used. Whether products are going in or out, the setting of a loading dock is dangerous.

Falls to a lower level are disturbingly common, accounting for 49,250 accidents in 2020.

Loading docks have four-foot drops that allow freight trucks to distribute the product. Injury or death can occur from a loading dock if the truck is absent or attached incorrectly.

It may seem obvious to say “close the dock door,” but it is not that simple. In busy warehouses, opening and closing the door can cause wear and tear that can be costly. Warm months and warmer warehouses can lead to heat fatigue amongst workers.

Security is possible with safety tips to add to your dock safety checklist.

Loading Dock Safety


Early mornings or late nights do not always provide enough sunlight to see easily. Ensure that loading dock areas are well-lit both inside and outside.

Bonus: Indicate the opening on the dock door with different color lights, such as safety yellow. This will provide clear communication of when to stop forklifts or where it is dangerous to walk.

Floor Markings

Markings in the warehouse can inform employees when the loading dock is near. Showing closeness at the 15,10, and 5-foot distance can warn forklift drivers to slow down and prepare to stop. Workers on foot can also benefit as they prepare to adhere to safety procedures.

Keep it Clean

Designating team members to ensure the dock area is clean can prevent slips, trips, and falls. Ensuring the floor is clear of debris, liquid, or spills can go a long way. Supervising progress is essential. Encourage accountability for maintaining a safe loading dock.

Unprotected Loading Dock

Make it Culture!

Ensure that every team member is on board with promoting warehouse safety. Diminishing dangerous “jokes” such as pushing or pretending to push others is essential. Employees who complete OSHA training encourage a foundation for security in warehouse culture. This is a great way to educate workers on the importance of being alert in dangerous situations. Develop a Toolbox Talk at least once a week to discuss safety issues safely and casually.

Install a Dock Barrier

An open and unarmed loading dock is a recipe for an accident. Install a dock safety barrier to prevent accidents from occurring. This assures that your employees are safe from dock fall accidents.

Routine Inspections and Maintenance

It is not enough to develop a safe loading dock setting and expect it to last. Develop a routine to inspect dock plates, safety barriers, forklifts, lighting, and doors. Maintain the equipment installed to ensure working conditions are safe. This is a crucial measure, as accidents are more likely to occur during malfunctions.

Loading Dock Safety Net

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