Loading Deck: Risks and Safety Measures

by Maisie

Work on loading decks can expose employees to various hazards. Lifting and handling materials mainly increase the risk factor. During these processes, safety measures need to be taken while stacking the materials to avoid risks. 

Workers at the loading deck need to be careful since it can be notoriously dangerous. 

What is a Loading Deck?

A loading deck is the main area of a facility from where products come in and move out. From small businesses to major warehouses, loading decks are present everywhere. Although essential, this area is also quite dangerous due to all the heavy equipment. From forklifts to trucks and more, one can find hazardous equipment here.

Common Injuries at Loading Decks

Here is a list covering the most common injuries that workers may encounter on loading decks.

  • Slipping and falling – Although the risk is common in most industries, the risk is higher at loading decks. The fall here could be from a greater height.
  • Back injury – Manually lifting heavy weights can cause back injuries. Incorrect lifting methods can or wrong lifting equipment can add to this injury.
  • CO (Carbon monoxide) poisoning – The trucks that bring materials to the loading decks may not turn off their engines for a long time. In such a case, it can lead to deadly carbon monoxide emissions, causing CO poisoning for the unaware workers. This issue worsens in areas with poor ventilation.
  • Forklift accidents – Forklift accidents can be of various types. Anything is possible, from material falling off and hitting a passerby to the forklift falling off the deck.
  • Broken bonesSlipping and falling and being struck by falling materials and faulty equipment can lead to broken bones.

Injuries from loading deck hazards are of various types. However, many of these can be prevented by taking appropriate safety measures.

Safety Measures at Loading Decks

Given the injuries and accidents at loading decks, it is vital to have safety measures.

  • Make markings on the floor with tape to demarcate the off-limits area. A very common accident is when workers get accidentally hit by heavy equipment. It is crucial to mark the safe areas for workers to walk on to avoid such mishaps.
  • Use visual guides such as the conventional green and red lights to indicate if it is safe or not to move. It makes communication with the truck drivers easier at the loading decks. Additionally, use a locking system on the trucks carrying material or products. This ensures that the truck does not separate accidentally from the loading decks. If they separate, it can be a significant cause of mishaps as workers may fall off. 
  • Cushion the sharp edges of loading decks to avoid running into sharp edges. Use protective padding to prevent such accidents. 
  • Rainy weather can make the floors of the loading decks slippery. It is necessary to clean the deck regularly to ensure that nobody slips on the wet floor. 
  • Finally, ensure that all the workers are aware of and follow all the safety rules diligently.

Wrapping Up

The first step to maintaining safety and avoiding hazards at loading decks is training all the workers on the safety measures. In the case of negligence, a lot of people are put at risk. From worker health and safety to deck maintenance, ensure that the operations are compliant with the regulations. 

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