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October 01, 2018

Guide to Loading Dock Regulations

When it comes to site safety, one of the main areas to consider in a warehouse is the loading area. Not only should there be enough space for both people and vehicles to move safely, but anyone who is not involved in loading or unloading the vehicles should be kept well away. Some of the other things to take into consideration are:

The position of loading areas

One of the most safety conscious designs for a loading area is to have designated bays which have raised platforms for vehicles to park against allowing employees to move straight from the bay into the vehicle quickly. If at all possible, loading and unloading areas should be positioned in safe places where drivers have the opportunity to manoeuvre them more easily. It might also be wise to consider a bolthole somewhere, which will be an option for people to get out of the way if there is the risk of them being potentially struck by a vehicle. Another good idea is to have an exit at both ends of a wide loading area. 

Space around bays

When warehouses are being designed, people will try and squeeze as many bays as they possibly can into the available space in order to allow for the maximum number of vehicles to be loaded and unloaded. However, it is important to remember that there needs to be enough space left around the loading bays in order to not only allow vehicles to move in and out of them safely, but also for employees to walk around the vehicles without being trapped as well.

Height differences

Employees who work in the loading bay area need to be aware that there may be differences in the height of vehicle load platforms, especially when a vehicle is loaded or unloaded. If the bay has not been designed with the platform slightly lower than the vehicle platform, then you may want to invest in dock levellers - which are adjustable ramps you can use to cover the height difference, making it safer for your employees. However, care must also be taken with these, as they usually have a hinged lip which may trap things as it folds and unfolds, and they may slope steeply, meaning employees need to control the things they are loading carefully. You can also use barriers such as heavy-duty pvc strips to help define the edges of loading bays.

Preventing Falls

If there is the possibility of employees potentially falling off the side of a loading bay, then you may want to think about investing in some kind of safeguard such as a secure railing. However, you need to keep in mind that goods will still need to be loaded and unloaded, so maybe think about a removable section of fence? You will also need to provide some sort of prevention against severe weather - such as heavy rain and strong winds.

There are lots of things to consider when trying to ensure your loading bay is as safe as possible, and hopefully, this article has highlighted a few of them to you. If you would like to find out more about Strip Curtains Direct range of strip curtains and other products and how they can work in your warehouse, please contact our experienced team today on 0333 999 7171 or email us at