Your warehouse and loading docks are at the core of your facility operations, but those areas are also susceptible to various safety hazards and accidents.
It’s estimated by OSHA that 25% of injuries that occur in warehouses or industrial facilities happen at the loading dock. While the majority of warehouse and loading dock injuries are caused by situations like slips and falls, also common and much more serious are forklift accidents and injuries caused by trailer separation and other vehicle activity, as well as heavy equipment and personnel collisions at busy intersections inside the plant.
Addressing loading dock safety with the simple addition of a light communication system, however, can help communicate and prevent these loading dock and warehouse safety hazards.
Indoor Dock Lighting
Compared with most safety equipment used in loading docks today, the dock light is perhaps one of the more accessible and essential tools available to workers. Often, it’s the only light source that workers can depend on when loading or unloading goods – arguably the main purpose of a loading dock.
Proper dock lighting is one of the most significant requirements for improved safety and productivity when loading and unloading trucks at dock doors. A quality dock light will provide uniform light from the dock door to the back of the trailer while withstanding the abuse it can be subject to in this environment.
Any industrial business wanting to preserve operational stability and avoid becoming a statistic would have proactively begun improving all mission-critical equipment, starting with their dock lights.
"Stop and Go" Traffic Lights
Most critical to safety, productivity and accident prevention at the loading dock is communication. In fact, HR Magazine noted that 48% of people surveyed said that confusing direction [and miscommunication] led to an average of 40 minutes of productivity lost per day. The primary objective of a light communication system is to keep operations productive by clearly informing loading dock personnel and truck drivers of a truck’s status. For example, the interior light communication system notifies dock personnel when they can safely enter a properly restrained trailer while the exterior lights communicate when a truck driver can safely depart from the dock position.
The most basic of the light communication systems is the Traffic Light system. Simple red and green traffic lights help dock workers inside your building communicate with truck drivers outside, improving both safety and productivity at your docks. Clear, concise communication to the right person, at the right time, in the right location.
Reversing Notification System
Although the universally understood red/stop and green/go lights are a great improvement to loading docks, a Reversing Notification System offers additional advancements that can help efficiently reduce dock and facility accidents. Most damage to loading docks happens as a truck reverses into position at the dock. Without adequate guidance, trucks will often approach too rapidly, hitting the loading dock with considerable force, and often causing thousands in damage.
Reduce the risk of damage at your loading dock with the addition of a Reversing Notification System, a series of lights with distance awareness that guide the truck smoothly into position. Combine a Reversing Notification System with a set of Traffic Lights for ultimate protection.
Rite-Vu Light Communication System
The Rite-Vu Hazard Recognition and Light Communication System is comprised of a variety of hazard recognition components, from activity detection with audible alarms to line-of-sight light communication. Rite-Vu includes:
- Approach-Vu™ is a light and horn system that is offered as standalone, or embedded in a vehicle restraint, presenting a clear visual and audible alarm to pedestrians out on the dangerous drive approach. Utilizing motion sensors, the system is activated when a backing trailer is detected helping mitigate potential backover injuries and fatalities.
- Pedestrian-Vu™ helps communicate activity inside a trailer to material handling personnel and pedestrians by emitting a blue light onto the leveller bed. Keeping the blue light in plain sight helps reduce costly collisions between forklifts and pedestrians.
- Corner-Vu™ addresses forklift accident potential by providing immediate dock lock status with light communication to the forklift operator before entering the trailer. The lights are located in the upper corners of the interior loading dock door, providing clear line-of-sight vehicle restraint status without obstruction.
- Leveler-Vu™ communicates vehicle restraint status to a forklift driver as they exit the bed of a semi-truck. The lights are located alongside the edge of the leveller bed, helping to provide clear vehicle restraint status to material handling personnel.
Communication is Key
In all aspects of life, communication is key. When we’re talking about the safety of your warehouse personnel, however, communication can be the difference between life and death. Utilizing any of the light communication systems from Ulti Group will set your operation up for success.
Loading docks can be loud, busy and confusing, but with a properly integrated light communication system you can help prevent forklift accidents, pedestrian and material handling equipment collisions and trailer separation accidents.