How Do You Assess Risk in the Warehouse?

In everyday life there is risk in just about everything we do. Most of that risk is so insignificant that we don’t even give it a thought. In a warehouse and especially at a loading dock the risk increases drastically. OSHA makes the following statement on their website, “loading docks can be dangerous places for forklifts, falls from a loading dock in a forklift can be fatal.”

With a combination of personnel, heavy equipment, moving product and trucks in the docks, the risks are endless. So, how do you assess risk and what do you do with that assessment?

Webster Defines Risk as: risk noun \’risk\

: the possibility that something bad or unpleasant (such as injury or loss) will happen
: someone or something that may cause something bad or unpleasant to happen
: a person or thing that someone judges to be a good or bad choice for insurance, a loan, etc.

It’s clear that working on a loading dock can be risky. Lots of heavy moving parts combined with foot traffic and moving trucks.

Maybe the bigger questions are:

  • How do you mitigate risk?
  • Do you have risk mitigation practices in place?
  • Do you have metrics in place to measure the cost of an accidental death or injury?
  • Do you have appropriate and operational safety equipment in place?

It is critical to understand the risk in your warehouse and how to mitigate that risk as much as possible. Part of risk mitigation is understanding the costs of a death or injury versus the cost of equipment meant to limit the risk. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the cost and maintenance of a truck restraint or a properly maintained dock leveler is far less costly than a serious injury or death.

Have no doubt, mitigating or eliminating risk is attainable, it takes a commitment from management and staff. It takes a clear understanding of the risk and the expenses of doing everything or doing nothing. If you would like more information on risk management or mitigation please contact any of us at Dock & Door Tec. We will be happy to take a look at your facility, listen to you and provide you with a plan to help mitigate your risk.


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