Loading Ramp Safety Checklist

Portable loading docks and loading ramps are a great addition to many facilities due to their durability, mobility, and ease of use. Though they can increase efficiency for many industries, there are several safety considerations to keep in mind while using one. As leading manufacturers of high-quality loading docks and portable ramps, the team at Dura-Ramp understands the importance of safe operation in various environments. That is why our team has compiled a comprehensive loading ramp safety checklist that is useful for any setting.

Learn how to prevent your loading ramp from sliding.

Loading Ramp Safety List

Winter Tips for Safely Using Loading Ramps

Between the reduced lighting and slippery surfaces that come with wintertime, there are many safety concerns to consider. Some tips to keep in mind during winter to keep safe while operating loading equipment include:


Use Lights


Make sure that you have plenty of light anytime that you are operating a loading ramp. With fewer hours of daylight during winter, it can be easy to make a mistake that could have been avoided with better visibility. Make sure that any area with a loading ramp in it is well illuminated so that forklift drivers, truck drivers, and any other workers can clearly see the task at hand.


Keep the Ramp Clear of Snow and Ice


While most ramps from Dura-Ramp can be used in poor weather conditions, snow and ice can still cause problems if left alone. Too much snow or ice on a ramp can create a slippery surface that can be a hazard for both forklifts and foot traffic. Make sure that a ramp is cleared of snow with a shovel or other tool before use. To remove ice, use an ice removal product that will not deteriorate the finish of the ramp.


Cover Your Ramp


By keeping your ramp covered when not in use, you can always keep it safe and dry. This can help to always keep it usable while also maximizing its usable life.


How to Use a Loading Ramp Safely


When it comes to using loading ramps, safety is an extremely important issue that needs to be addressed before use. There are often many factors at play that can go wrong in a matter of seconds, so having a solid knowledge foundation for safety is crucial. Some simple tips for using a loading ramp safely include:


1. Be Careful Not to Fall Backwards


When driving up a loading ramp, there is always the potential for a worker falling backward or a vehicle tipping over backward. This risk is greater for vehicles with a high centre of gravity, such as motorcycles, than it is for vehicles with a low centre of gravity, such as forklifts. The simplest solution for driving safely up a loading ramp is to ensure that the powered wheel of the vehicle is uphill. This means that vehicles powered by rear-wheel drive should be reversed up the loading ramp.


2. Stay on the Loading Ramp


Since there is also a risk of slipping off the side the loading ramp when loading and unloading various sizes of vehicles and equipment, it is important to use a loading ramp with an anti-slip surface. Anti-slip surfaces are specifically designed to prevent slippage in different types of weather conditions.


3. Ensure the Loading Ramp is Properly Attached


One of the most important things that you can do to ensure the safety of the workers using the loading ramp is to make sure that the ramp is tightly secured to the trailer. This can be done using chains, safety straps, or hook connections. If the safety chains or straps are too long, it is important to adjust them or else there might be a gap between the ramp and trailer.


4. Keep the Loading Ramp Angle Low


The steeper the loading ramp, the greater the chance of an accident occurring. To create a lower ramp angle, consider placing the trailer on a lower surface than the surface the loading ramp is on. This will help to create a more level loading and unloading area, minimizing the risk of accidents or injury.


Warehouse Loading Dock Safety Tips


A safe warehouse requires a full commitment to safety compliance in addition to safe and secure loading dock equipment. For a safer warehouse, review our list of warehouse loading dock safety tips:


Keep all Surfaces Clean, Clear, and Dry


Warehouse floors and surfaces can become hazardous when they are not properly cared for. All floors should be kept clean, dry, and clear of any materials or debris. If a spill occurs in the warehouse, it should be addressed, communicated, and handled immediately to prevent slipping. It is important that all warehouse tools and equipment are safely stored and organized. If left lying around on the floor or the surface of the loading ramp, they can quickly become a dangerous tripping hazard or can cause damage to forklifts and other equipment.


Wear Proper Clothing and Safety Equipment


All warehouse loading dock staff should always wear the appropriate attire. Some of these items include sturdy footwear, gloves, reflective clothing, hard hats, eye protection, and hearing protection. Many warehouse accidents can be prevented by implementing mandatory warehouse safety clothing and equipment.


Complete Ongoing Equipment Inspections and Repairs


Dura-Ramp loading dock products are designed to be low-maintenance, with minimal cleaning and maintenance requirements. Regardless, it is important that all warehouse equipment and tools are regularly inspected and repaired. Do not allow employees to operate damaged equipment that needs repairs. Ensure that all equipment inspections and repairs are scheduled, communicated, and thoroughly documented.


Ensure That all Staff are Sufficiently Trained


One of the biggest threats to warehouse loading dock safety is a lack of warehouse training and education among employees. All warehouse workers should complete a detailed training program before they are allowed access to loading dock equipment. Warehouse employees that have received the proper training and education are more likely to prevent workplace hazards and accidents from occurring.


Ramp Setup & Safety Procedures

Dura-Ramp loading docks and portable ramps are designed with safety and convenience in mind. Getting a Dura-Ramp setup and ready to move freight can be done in nine easy steps. Follow the steps below to ensure optimal efficiency and safety during operation:

  1. Position ramp at desired location – Give the truck and your forklift enough space to maneuver. You do not want to spend time navigating tight spaces and risk a collision.
  2. Adjust the fold down plates to the upright position – You will need these plates for smooth access onto the trailer. Without them you are leaving a gap that could compromise security.
  3. Have the tractor back up to the loading platform – Have someone guide the trailer back to the ramp, lining up the trailer with the ramp as best as possible.
  4. Attach the safety chain to the trailer bumper – The safety chain is there for extra security. Attach it to avoid movement and separation between the trailer and the ramp.
  5. Insert safety wheel chocks behind trailer tires – Safety chocks will prevent the truck from rolling away from the ramp.If your loading ramp features tires, install wheel chocks behind them in addition to engaging the wheel lock function.
  6. Position fold down plates in the downward position – Place the transition plates down for forklift access. Be careful when placing the plates so you do not pinch your fingers.
  7. Adjust the platform height to the desired height – To create the smoothest transition between the ramp and the trailer, match the heights as best as possible. A significant difference can cause your forklift to bounce up or down while holding heavy materials.
  8. Have the truck driver exit the truck – For everyone’s safety, have the driver exit the truck. The vehicle should be securely in park and all brakes active to prevent rolling and shifting.
  9. Begin the loading or unloading process – You are now ready to unload. The ramp is now securely fastened to the trailer and there should be no movement that could compromise the process.

If you would like to learn more about our selection of portable loading ramps or want to learn more about loading dock safety, get in touch with the team at Dura-Ramp. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to assist you.

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