Wheel Chock Safety

We have a policy that has been hard to enforce: we require that all trucks loading or unloading at our dock use wheel chocks. Neither the drivers nor our staff regularly take the time to do that. Can you give me some idea as to why it is so important? I mean, what could happen with a truck parked on level ground with the engine turned off?

The Safety Exchange Says: The danger in this situation is the movement of the truck or trailer away from the loading dock during transfer operations. Deaths occur every year when trucks roll away from loading docks and the forklift falls between the truck and dock. This is a very dangerous situation and also illustrates why forklift operators must wear their seatbelt. Use of the seatbelt keeps the operator inside the rollover protection cage (ROPS) and prevents the operator from being crushed by the forklift.

Movement of the truck or trailer can occur from the forklift repeatedly entering the entering and exiting the truck (dock creep), failure of braking systems and sometimes drivers inadvertently pull away thinking the loading or unloading activity is complete.

Your brewery should have some method to prevent this from occurring. Equipment such as wheel chocks, dock locks, dock hooks and wheel based restraints all can be used to keep your loading dock employees safe during loading and unloading operations.

You wrote that “Neither the drivers nor our staff regularly take the time to do that”. That sounds like a safety culture and leadership issue. If you make improvements in dock safety everyone benefits by reducing the chance of a fatality in a high risk operation.