Loading Dock Inspections – Your Warehouse From The Outside Looking In
Many facility supervisors look at their warehouses not from the outside, but from the inside. Let’s face it, you get to work, go inside the warehouse and spend the rest of the day inside taking care of business.
Who is responsible for going outside and doing an actual equipment survey? Have you looked under your dock levelers, at your dock seals, checked the quality of your dock bumpers and wheel chocks or truck restraints (dock locks)? If you are responsible for “safety”, “efficiency”, “productivity” and “compliance” now is the time. Small repairs left unchecked can lead to huge expenses and sometimes –employee injuries.
Here are some simple tips to help you look like the “Smartest Guy on the Dock” and not the “New Kid on the Block” when inspecting your loading dock
- Bumpers (most critical) – Look at your bumper condition. 1\2” to 1” wear can cause damage to the trailer or building.
Bumpers are the most critical part of your loading dock. If your bumpers are in poor shape, worn down, or bent beyond recognition, they are costing your company money.
Worn bumpers are the number one cause of building and trailer damage at the loading dock area, and are the cheapest problem to fix. DON’T LET THEM GO UNNOTICED.
- Dock Leveler – Are they slow to function? Lips slowly extending or not extending at all? Are you having to “help the lip” by hand?
These conditions can lead to slow productivity, driver complaints, and worst of all, workman compensation claims.
It is recommended that you should service your dock levelers at least once a year, or more, depending on the volume of use. It is money well spent and keeps your facility running smooth and efficiently.
- Dock Seals – If you have dock seals on your doors they are there for a reason. If upon your inspection you see the foam core, or half ripped seams, or head-pads torn off, it is time to call someone to either repair or replace them.
They won’t serve their purpose unless you keep them in good repair and replace them when needed. This can provide a huge energy savings.
- Wheel chocks or truck restraints. Be sure you are OSHA complaint per OSHA statute: 29 CFR 1910.178(k)(1) and (m)(7)
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Keeping a well maintained dock area not only helps things run smoothly, it also shows that your company takes pride in its shipping and receiving area, is energy conscientious, and knows that safety is most important.