Loading Dock Safety for Truck Drivers

As a truck operator, loading docks can be part of everyday life.  Picking up and dropping off a load is usually more about how quickly can you get loaded or unloaded, have the load secured, and back on the road making that money. While speed and efficiency are important, safety should always be the top priority.


Did you know that 25% of industrial accidents happen at the loading dock? There are a lot of safety hazards to keep in mind when it comes to loading docks and a lot of considerations to keep in mind so you can keep yourself and others safe.

Here is a list of safety tips to keep in mind when operating around loading docks:

Before backing all the way up, ensure your trailer doors are opened and locked back against the sides of the trailer.


If using a dock leveler, first ensure the leveler is in the upright elevated position and ready to receive the trailer edge before backing up.

Make sure you are properly aligned with the loading dock bumpers before backing all the way up.


Be watchful of pedestrian and forklift traffic, and never get between the loading dock and a truck when the truck is in gear.


If using a dock leveler, ensure the Dock leveler is down and secure before attempting to load/unload.


Ensure your truck engine is turned off, brakes are set, and always chock your wheels when loading and unloading at a dock.

According to OSHA, fall protection devices like guardrails and safety gates, are required for open loading docks 48 inches or higher.  So be patient with dock and warehouse workers.


If the loading dock is equipped with a dock lock, know how to use them and ensure it is unlocked before attempting to pull away.


After pulling away from the dock, stop and ensure your trailer doors are closed and locked before leaving the driveway.

Whether you're a fleet owner or a driver, you can never be too safe.  At TEL, we prioritize safety and making your fleet leasing, lease purchase, equipment sales, truck maintenance, or fleet support experience the best it can be.    Want more information and tips for drivers and fleet owners?  Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and check out all of our articles on our main news page for more helpful resources.

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