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Why Dock Door Gates are an Important Safety Feature for Loading Docks

 Posted on: June 2nd, 2021

Why Dock Door Gates are an Important Safety Feature for Loading Docks
Our Guardian Door Dock Gate guarding the loading dock

As the owner or operator of a loading dock facility, it is important you create a loading environment that is not only efficient, but safe and secure as well. One of the simplest yet most important safety features you can implement at your loading dock is a dock door gate.

The concept behind a dock door gate is simple—you place it in front of a dock door to prevent accidental falls off the dock during times when the dock is not in use. Without the gate, you just have an open space.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about dock door gates and why you should install them in your loading dock.

Improve the safety of your facility

Having open ledges around your loading docks can be hazardous for both workers and forklifts. These dock door gates can be rated for impact against items of varying weights, so if a forklift accidentally collides with it, it will still prevent a fall off the ledge.

Not only does having a dock door gate make your facility safer—it’s also a requirement under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. All employers are required by OSHA regulations to give adequate protection for workers from falls or falling objects, and must ensure that fall protection equipment meets certain criteria.

When you consider that fall protection is the most-cited OSHA violation every single year, it makes even more sense to invest in a dock door gate, as an open loading dock is where falls are most likely to occur at warehouses and other such facilities.

Some of the OSHA standards for loading dock safety include:

  • Workers should always stay a safe distance away from loading dock edges
  • Guardrails or visible barriers should be installed at open dock doors to prevent accidents from occurring
  • There should be signs posted at those dock doors to make sure drivers are aware of their clearance limits
  • Edges at the loading dock drop-off points should be painted so workers clearly know where the loading dock drops off
  • Surfaces should be kept dry and well maintained at all times
  • Materials and goods should be stored properly to prevent crowding in the loading dock and potential injury to workers

As you can see, loading dock door gates will help you to fulfill many of these requirements and create a safer work environment for all of your employees.

The benefits of dock door gates

Here’s a quick look at some of the primary benefits of loading dock door gates for your facility:

  • Protect your workers: We’ll start with the most obvious benefit. Loading dock safety gates make sure your team is able to stay safe while working in the loading dock area. They prevent people from accidentally walking or driving machinery off the ledge, which could result in serious injuries.
  • Easy to use: Any worthwhile loading dock door gate will have a smartly counterbalanced design that allows one person to operate the gate with a single hand, smoothly and efficiently.
  • Durability: Dock door gates typically feature an aluminum and/or steel design with a powder-coated finish (usually yellow to make it noticeable) so you can expect it to last you for many years of use.
  • Various sizes: You can find these gates in various sizes to fit the size of your loading dock doorways, standard or non-standard. Many gates are adjustable to allow you to purchase a single type of door gate that can be used in various locations.
  • Easy to install: Installation of a dock door gate takes hardly any time at all—all you will need to do is bolt it to any existing floor or concrete in the area where you’ll be using it.
Guardian Door Dock Gate
Up close perspective view of our Guardian Door Dock Gate

Prioritize safety around your loading dock! Installation of a dock door gate is a breeze, and it will be a feature that will last you for years to come, keeping workers and equipment safe while also helping you remain compliant with OSHA safety regulations at your facility.