10 Tips to Keep Your Dock Levellers Safe & Operational
If you need to bridge the difference in height and distance between the warehouse floor and vehicle in the most efficient way then a Loading Systems Dock Leveller is the solution.
Even if the vehicle bed is not entirely horizontal due to uneven loading, the flexible platform construction will easily compensate the difference in height.
Our dock levellers are available as hydraulic, including extendable or telescopic lip, in a various range of dimensions, capacities, or built bespoke to your requirements. The standard load capacities are 60kN or 100kN, however, most load capacity requirements are possible.
Issues may occur with a dock leveller when the operating guidelines are not followed and the person operating the dock leveller has not been properly trained.
Following the below tips which are based on our experience and knowledge of dock levellers will help you to remain compliant with BSEN1398 standards, keep your operator safe and your dock leveller in action for longer!
1. Read the Manufacturers Guidelines
All operators need to read and understand the manual carefully, it is very important to become accustomed with the dock leveller and its controls before operating them. The guidelines will cover safety procedures; product features; maintenance schedule; troubleshooting reference; component breakdown; warranty and contact numbers in case there’s a problem.
2. Employ a Competent Person (Operator)
This means a person who in accordance with his training and experience, has sufficient knowledge in the field of dock levellers and is sufficiently familiar with relevant regulations to be able to assess the safe condition of operating dock levellers.
3. Understand the Potential Hazards
Not operating a dock leveller as per the manufacturers guidelines could lead to potential hazards such as:
- High-pressure fluid ejection
- Loss of stability
- Slip, trip and fall
- Electrical contact
- Failure of energy supply
- Failure, malfunction of control system
4. Practice Safe Operating Procedures
In order to avoid any hazardous situations and keep your operator safe ensure the following safety procedures are adhered to:
- Never operate the equipment if unauthorised personnel are in the operating area.
- Make sure that the operating area is free from any foreign objects that could cause an accident.
- Keep away from the dock leveller when a trailer is approaching or leaving the loading bay area.
- Avoid placing hands or any part of the body near the moving parts.
- Refrain from using a damaged dock leveller, ask Loading Systems to check and repair the equipment before using it.
- Maintain a safe distance on all side edges.
- Do not use dock levelling equipment if the height of the truck is obviously greater or lower.
- Avoid overloading the dock leveller.
- Do not leave any device or object unattended on the dock leveller.
5. Check the gradient
Dock levellers are designed so that the gradient in the operational position does not exceed + 12,5% (approximately + 7°)
The areas of dock levellers which are used by persons or transport equipment shall also have anti-slip properties. The surface is also designed so that fluids can run away.
6. Keep on top of Maintenance
- Ensure maintenance work is carried out by a competent person at regular intervals in accordance with the manufacturers’ guidelines.
- All Loading Systems dock levellers are fitted with a mechanical prop or device which, when operated will support the unloaded leveller at its maintenance position and allow maintenance work to be carried out in safety.
7. Document your results
- Keep written records of the results of all inspections: date, name, address and signature of the competent person must be kept by you.
- The warranty is only valid based on the assumption that the dock levellers are regularly maintained by competent persons according to the instructions of the manufacturer and that the operating persons have been instructed in the use of the dock levellers.
8. Employ a Competent Electrician
Make sure a certified competent electrician is the only person you authorise to do all the electrical work on a dock leveller
9. Display the Right Signage
The appropriate operating and warning signs should be attached close to the control box. You can also post signs to the wall, on the nearest left of the leveller at eye level
Always refer to the manufacturers guidelines before attempting to troubleshoot. When assessing the dock leveller for issues always:
- Raise the platform, turn off and disconnect all power sources.
- Check every single fuse inside the control panel
- Immediately replace those that are broken.
- Place barricade and safety warnings on the work area.