The loading dock is an active, busy work site for many Pennsylvania employees. These docks, located at factories, warehouses, distribution centers and other industrial buildings, are often connected to a storage room or staging area. Here, large trucks deliver the items needed to make the business operate. Loading docks are critical to many business operations, but they can also be a common site for workplace accidents and injuries. Loading dock employees are often charged with handling massive quantities of goods on a quick, expedited basis. After all, many delivery trucks are on a tight schedule and need to leave the dock quickly.
In order to most efficiently unload a truck and load a storage area, loading dock employees frequently use forklifts or lift trucks to manage the movement of goods. While forklifts are key tools for workers, they can also be a source of unexpected danger. Every year, there are over 100,000 workplace injuries linked to forklifts and other types of powered industrial trucks. Federal regulations require that forklift operators be properly trained, including company-provided training on the specific vehicle in use at the loading dock. Untrained forklift operators can wind up suffering serious injuries.
In addition, other best practices are important to avoid injury at the loading dock. Workers should have access to the tools they need for the job, including handcarts and lifting devices. Employees may be at risk of back strain, muscle damage or joint problems due to unsafe lifting or excessive weight. In addition, flammable or caustic materials require special handling to avoid serious accidents on the job.
When workers are injured on the loading dock, these accidents may occur as a result of workplace safety violations that endanger everyone. A workers' comp attorney may help injured workers to protect their rights and seek the compensation that they deserve.