Safety is a key concern for facility managers in dock areas. This article discusses effective methods for increasing safety in the areas.
Facility managers, especially in businesses involving loading and unloading of goods and materials, are confronted with the challenge of maintaining safety in the dock areas.

It is needless to say that dock areas are susceptible to danger because they are usually fast paced. Therefore, the onus of maintaining the safety falls on facility managers.  

Safety in dock areas also has other benefits for a business. For example, the productivity will increase as workers will feel fearless due to the safety element.

Therefore, it makes ample sense to invest in equipment to assure safety in dock areas.

So, if you are a facility manager, you can raise the safety of your loading dock in the following ways:

Implementing Truck Restraints

With a truck restraint, you can significantly increase the safety of your dock area. A truck restraint holds a truck in place during loading and unloading, creating a secure connection between a truck and the dock leveler. 

The truck restraint increases the safety in a dock yard by holding the truck’s rear-impact guard or ICC bar.
In addition, you will find many models of the equipment equipped with a light communication system to allow the truck driver to communicate with dock attendants. It helps the driver to stabilize and immobilize a truck completely to prevent accidents.

Installing Dock Seals

Loading dock areas are susceptible to external natural phenomena such as snow, rain, and storms. To prevent undesired elements from accessing the dock areas, facility managers should seal gaps around loading dock doors. If such elements enter the dock area, the working environment becomes uncomfortable and slippery, making it unsafe. A wet floor, for example, might cause slips and falls, resulting in injury to employees.

Installing High-Speed Overhead Doors

Facility managers should take adequate care to shield dock workers from dangerous exterior elements. And, it is a critical safety consideration for facility management as that makes loading dock areas safe, and comfortable.

One of the impactful methods is to reduce the time of overhead doors remaining open. And the best solution is to use high-speed overhead doors.

Therefore, investing in an adjustable curtain dock seal can protect the loading dock area by blocking the unwanted elements from entering the facility through gaps.

Furthermore, dock seals have the capability of fitting various trailer sizes. Dock seals not only keep the area secure, but they also improve energy efficiency by confining internally generated warm air and keeping cold air outside. Energy usage will become more efficient if your facility is protected from outside elements.

The doors can reduce a door’s cycle time from 56 seconds to 5.6 seconds. 

Although the difference in time  appears to be small, it becomes significant when you take into account the number of times the facility doors open and close during the operations in a working day. 

These doors  often close up to 2-3 times faster than low-speed doors. Also, the low-speed doors consume a lot of energy while closing. The reduced door cycle time protects the personnel from the cold weather throughout the winter and helps to avoid any accidents that may occur.

Using Dock Levellers

When there is a dock leveler in the facility, workers find it comfortable and safe as there arises a firm connection between the dock and the truck.

Moreover, dock levelers provide a secure connection between the truck and the bay, ensuring a secure connection, and safety in the loading and unloading process.

Besides, the dock levelers prevent any danger to the workers.

There are are two types of dock levels: mechanical and hydraulic dock levelers

A mechanical dock leveler operates with the help of manual efforts. To run the dock leveler, the operator has to first position the leveler on the trailer by pulling a chain, which is usually positioned at the rear of the dock.

The platform and dock lip rise and extend from the dock towards the trailer when the operator pulls the chain. The operator must then climb onto the leveler and use his or her weight to lower the platform and dock lip in order for the trailer bed to be properly aligned.

These dock levelers are built with different parts, such as lip-latches, springs, and hold-downs apart from other moving parts.

Because the parts are subjected to constant pressure from forklifts and other warehouse operator equipment that undertake heavy cargo loading and unloading, the parts may require frequent repair and replacement. 

When choosing a leveler, consider the overall lifetime cost of ownership as well as the initial capital expenditure.

But things are different for a hydraulic dock leveler, which works automatically with the push of a button. As such, manual efforts are not required to operate such a dock leveler.

The operator can conveniently lower the dock leveler to the necessary height to align it with the trailer bed. With another button push, the hydraulic leveler will return to its original position.

In spite of the associated conveniences due to ease of operation, they are expensive and require sophisticated electrical components.

Therefore, you should take into account your financial position before choosing a hydraulic dock leveler.


In any dock leveler operation, safety is the priority. Accidents are sure to occur if there is no proper safety equipment in the loading dock areas. We believe that facility managers can maintain safety in the dock loading areas by following the tips shared in this article.