A recent study conducted by the Health and Safety Executive has indicated that most risk intensive aspect of industrial activities is the loading and unloading of goods. The report stated that an astounding 30% of all transport workplace accidents can be attributed to incidents occurring in this area. The impact on businesses can be detrimental resulting in millions of pounds worth of insurance payouts and sick pay. Due to this it is essential to provide all members of your workforce with adequate training to cover loading bay safety essentials prior to using them for this purpose. It may sound basic; however the impact of failing to do so could mean the downfall of your business, and your hard earned reputation.
The immediate area which surrounds loading bays can be a thriving hub of activity, due to this it requires a specific safety plan. In order to be effective you need to ensure your workforce adheres to this safety plan. Lorries arrive, pallet trucks are loaded and unloaded, lorries leave, and trucks are loaded and then unloaded. With all of this activity the loading bay can quickly degenerate into a state of chaos. This is when accidents occur.
Loading Bay Safety: Implementing Good Working Practices
To avoid this and ensure your loading bay safety is addressed, it is essential to implement the correct safety procedures, and to ensure that each member of your workforce knows and understands their specific role. However this is not as simple as it may initially seem, you have the added complication of drivers and staff members from external companies. These individuals may operate under a slightly different system, and may not be familiar with your company’s specific methods. Each new arrival potentially spells a new set of hazards and dangers for your workforce; to counter this, it is imperative that you ensure the safety of your workforce during these hectic periods.
Educating members of your workforce about loading bay safety is the solution to this problem. Ensuring that each member of your work force is competent and able to quickly spot problems and potential accidents, and then handle them accordingly is indispensable. This applies to all members of your workforce, from dedicated loading bay workers to pump truck and pallet truck operators.
The Health and Safety Executive has, in light of their report, provided a range of suggestions to help companies and businesses combat the risk. These measures include conducting additional risk assessments, evaluating the risk potential posed by visiting drivers and ensuring your entire workforce is equipped with sufficient knowledge and awareness, enabling them to stop work should an incident arise. Utilising these methods together is a guaranteed measure to ensure your loading bay is a safe environment.