Statistics Behind Loading Dock Accidents
Every day, loading docks are behind the scenes managing the operations of businesses across the nation, including Texas and New Mexico. Loading docks are an essential aspect of the business model because they allow large factories to get materials where they need to go next. Unfortunately, roughly 25 percent of industrial accidents take place at the loading dock. Given the structure and machinery involved in the process, loading docks are a dangerous site for workers. One of the most common ways a loading dock accident takes place is when a forklift backs off the platform and falls on the operator.
Safety Requirements for Loading Docks
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), these are some the requirements for loading docks:
- “Every wall opening from which there is a drop of more than 4 feet shall be guarded by an actual fall protection barrier.”
- “The employer must ensure each employee on a walking-working surface with an unprotected side or edge that is 4 feet or more above a lower level is protected from falling by one or more of the following guardrail systems; safety net systems; or personal fall protection system.”
- “Power-operated industrial trucks shall not be used in atmospheres containing hazardous concentration of acetylene, butadiene, ethylene oxide, hydrogen (or gases or vapors equivalent in hazard to hydrogen, such as manufactured gas), propylene oxide, acetaldehyde, cyclopropane, diethyl ether, ethylene, isoprene, or unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH).”
It is important to note that guidelines are always subject to change and although these regulations are put in place with the intention of safeguarding employees, there is no method that will fully prevent accidents.
Types of Loading Dock Accidents
- Trailer creep: This occurs as there is repeated impact from lift trucks going in and out and causes the trailer to edge away from the dock.
- Early departure: Also known as an aggressive pullout, happens when a truck driver mistakenly drives away while a lift truck is entering or leaving and is still inside the trailer.
- Trailer pop-up or trailer-up ending: When a truck is loading or unloading and the weight of the material on the forklift is too heavy, it can cause one end of the truck to shift.
- Landing gear collapse: More commonly known as a trailer tip over, this occurs when the leg of the landing gear collapses. A leg that rolls inward or outward will cause the trailer to tip sideways.
Get the Attention You Deserve Following a Loading Dock Accident
At the Law Office of Javier Martinez, Jr., P.C. we are prepared to help you receive compensation and benefits as you recover from your workplace accident. If your accident took place in the El Paso area, please contact us at 915-759-0896. For New Mexico residents, we can be reached at 575-393-0022.