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Safety in Loading Docks

May 23, 2014

Loading docks are a crucial part of any business.  Shipping products out and receiving goods in while keeping workers and items safe may seem like a “no-brainer” but this process really needs to be inspected and perfected.

Organizations such as the Ford Motor Company, the United States Postal Service and the Canada Post have all utilized SlipNOT® high traction metal safety products on loading docks and important equipment associated with loading and unloading products safety.  The Canada post has utilized mostly non slip galvanized steel plate on their docks, scissor lifts, dock lifts and ramps while Ford used steel slip resistant plate on Rite-Hite Dock Levelers for their loading bay operations.  The high integrity of these non slip steel plates is apparent as the products were installed in 1996 and as of the summer of 2013 they were still working well!

According to an article on www.foodmanufacturing.com not only should the safety of workers be considered when loading and unloading goods but the safety of the products, such as food processing products, must be closely monitored.  Loading docks could pose a large amount of risk for fresh clean food if not handled correctly.  Organizations such as the FDA have started monitoring loading dock safety closer as well as newer laws like the Food Safety Modernization Act.  Food Manufacturing gives a list of possible threats for food processors at loading docks:

1.)    Contamination: If a loading dock is poorly designed or is unsecured it can create a hole.  Contaminates such as dust, water, snow and rodents might be able to enter.
2.)    Cold Chain Integrity:  With fresh or frozen foods being loaded or unloaded, temperature control is extremely critical.  If equipment or procedures are not properly maintained the cold chain integrity could be compromised and the quality of the products could be adversely affected.
3.)    Terrorist Threats: If a security seal on a trailer is broken or if a trailer is put into place by a non-company employee the temptation for food to be stolen or poisoned is greater.
4.)    Cargo Theft: Billions of dollars in products are stolen each year from loading docks.  The most popular products being food, electronics, pharmaceuticals and apparel.

It is apparent that loading docks need to be closely monitored and regulated.  A well operated loading dock will help maintain the integrity and safety of products and people.  Non slip products by SlipNOT® can be supplied in a variety of metal types including aluminum, stainless steel and steel.  A galvanized surface is available on steel products to help protect against corrosion.  Products can also be customized in sizes and can be cut to specific shapes in order to meet requirements.  Keep your products and workers safe!

Ritter, John. “Loading Docks: A Critical Link in America’s Food Supply Chain.” www.foodmanufacturing.com  April 29, 2014, May 16, 2014

 

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