In “A Dry Dock is a Safe Dock” by Michael Brittingham in EHS today, the author discuss the dangers that loading docks have on workers. Some of these dangers include trucks and trailers driving quickly, large sudden drops and slip and fall accidents on oily and wet loading dock floors. Twenty five percent of work place accidents occur on loading docks with thirty four percent of those accidents reported as being slip and fall incidents.
Loading docks become a slip and fall danger to workers when moisture from the outside, such as snow and rain seep into the loading dock area through doors and other entrances surrounding the loading docks. The rain and snow mixes with oil and grease from trucks and other equipment to create an extremely dangerous floor surface for workers.
The Occupation Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, recommends that floors surrounding loading docks should be kept clean and dry to help prevent slip and fall accidents. In order to keep the loading docks clean, dry and safe the author suggests purchasing doors that are made from flexible materials that hold up against damage from trucks. He suggests investing in materials that fill in gaps around the sides of docks to prevent leakage and to prevent moisture from entering the loading dock. The author also suggests investing in dock seals and shelters which ensure that snow and other elements from trucks are kept out of the loading area.
Sometimes, these preventative measures are not enough to secure worker safety from slip and fall accidents. Slip resistant flooring may be necessary to ensure that workers are safe if elements such as snow, oil and grease do enter the loading dock area. Slip resistant metal flooring provides workers the ability to walk safely on slippery floors without worrying about slip and fall accidents. Slip resistant flooring is durable and long lasting against the harsh loading dock environment. By implementing safety suggestions to maintain dry floors and investing in slip resistant metal safety flooring, supervisors ensure that regardless of the conditions, workers will be kept safe.
Brittingham, Michael. “A Dry Dock is a Safe Dock.” EHS Today. October 2010, 47- 49.