If you’ve got a commercial or industrial business with a loading dock, you know from OSHA, and experience, that loading docks are prime places for safety slips. There’s a lot of heavy equipment and people walking between huge overhead doors and giant truck trailer doors while hoping the two stay in place the whole time. Having a truck come away from the dock lip while employees are loading inventory, having a load that dislodged en route come falling out on a worker when they open the truck trailer doors, or worse, having an employee fall through a gap between the loading dock and the back of the trailer, are the last things we want to see happen. So let’s get familiar with 5 important pieces of loading dock safety equipment important to keep in good working order at your warehouse. You’ve got to keep your people safe, after all.

1. Dock Bumpers

Dock bumpers sit at the edge of the loading dock and are meant to absorb impact from a vehicle or equipment backing up against it. It protects the structural integrity of your loading dock, which is key to a safe working environment, and it also reduces the jerking motion that happens with an impact, meaning less injuries resulting from accidents.

2. Dock Levelers

A dock leveler creates a bridge between the edge of the loading dock and the freight vehicle you need to access. Dock levelers are most often held in what’s called a “pit,” located under the overhead door, but they can also be on the front of the dock itself.

3. Dock Seals

This is the foam padding around the outside of the overhead loading dock door. The truck presses into the padding as it backs up to the loading dock. Dock seals protect employees from falls as well as weather, and also increases the temperature regulation and energy efficiency in your warehouse during your loading and unloading processes.

4. Wheel Chocks

Wheel chocks basically act as a failsafe for vehicle creep. They’re wedges you shove under the wheels of a vehicle so ensure it doesn’t move during the loading/unloading processes.

5. Communication Lights

Communication lights are usually mounted on the side of and in between the overhead doors on the loading dock. They’re what signal to drivers when the truck is backed up far enough, when it’s open and being used, and when the trailer doors are closed and it’s okay to pull away from the loading dock.

With all that big equipment, attachments, skids and skids of inventory, etc., safety’s got to be the most important priority on every loading dock. Be familiar with all these safety features on your loading dock, and take advantage of all the protection they offer when used correctly.