Consumers rarely see loading dock workers, but these employees are essential to most Nebraska industries. Unfortunately, this type of occupational environment contains many workplace accident hazards. Although workers' compensation provides employees with financial benefits if an injury occurs, reducing hazards completely is preferable.
While dock workers receive training on performance and safety issues, it never hurts to review the hazards that go along with such employment. The following sections contain a review of three loading dock hazards as well as guidelines to prevent accidents.
Unsecured trailer hazards: A common workplace accident plaguing dock workers is falling through the space between the loading dock and the truck trailer. To avoid such hazards, it is crucial to secure the truck trailer to the dock before loading or offloading begins.
Falling hazards: Even when a trailer is secure, falls can still occur. Although most loading docks are only a few feet above the ground, a fall can lead to broken bones or head injuries. Using barriers, ramps and bridging devices helps to reduce fall hazards.
Forklift hazards: Forklifts are invaluable tools for loading dock workers. They can prevent back injuries by allowing employees to lift heavy objects. However, they can also cause a workplace accident if used carelessly or improperly. Operating forklifts and other equipment cautiously and making use of all available safety features can reduce the risk of suffering a workplace accident.
Remaining well and fit enough to continue working is a goal all members of the workforce share. A serious workplace accident compromises the ability to maintain this goal, especially when you have difficulty accessing workers' compensation benefits. An employment attorney can help in such a situation by protecting your rights and helping you seek the benefits you need to recover from a work injury.