7 Dock Leveller Checks you should make on a regular basis
Loading Bay Safety Checks | Part 1
By Ken Oldfield, Loading Systems Manager (North), Pickerings Lifts
Dock Levellers are one of the work-horses of the warehouse and logistic centre set-up.
And everyone knows having dock leveller Planned Preventative Maintenance, or ‘PPM’ schedule, is essential, because it’s the law, and it’s required for health and safety and insurance purposes.
But conducting additional checks on your dock leveller will help keep employees even more safe ‘between’ official checks, and will also increase the lifespan and maintain the efficiency of your equipment.
That’s because you’ll be more aware of any damage or degradation to your dock levellers, and be able to take preventative action sooner.
Here are the seven checks I would highly recommend you make on a regular basis.
1) Check all dock leveller lip hinges, lip and deck structures for signs of wear and tear
Are any surfaces bent or buckled due to loads? Do the lip hinges move freely? Do the lip hinges have too much play on them? Are the lip hinges in any danger of breaking apart?
2) Check all electrical supply cables and controls for signs of damage
Are there any cables that have accidentally been cut or worn? Are there any internal wires showing through the outer sleeves? Are the terminal ends where the cables connect to motors or controls still solidly attached?
3) Check the safety prop is in full working order for use as a fall device for health and safety.
Is there any sign or corrosion that might lead to prop failure?
4) Check the front beam and lip keepers of the dock leveller for signs of bowing and degradation.
Doc levellers are sturdy pieces of equipment, and can take a lot of battering, but even they have limits. Can you see any sign of bowing? Is there any danger of the front beam breaking or being mis-aligned from the constant damage?
5) Check the toe guards are undamaged
Are the toe guards in full working order? If they’re sliding toe guards, are they sliding freely? If there’s any sign of sticking or wear and tear, then having them serviced might avoid any nasty health and safety injuries.
6) Check the dock leveller frame structure
Is there any sign of rust and degradation? If there are signs, how bad is the degradation? Bad enough to cause concern over health and safety if the frame deteriorates further? Bad enough to cause delays from frequent repairs?
7) Check the rear hinges
Are there any signs of play and movement within the hinges? Is there so much play that they have become a health and safety issue for staff? Will these cause unloading and loading issues for employees?
How many times should you be conducting these checks?
The truthful answer is ‘it depends on how much the dock leveller is being used’; ‘how old your dock leveller is’; and ‘how often you have PPM planned in.’
And it doesn’t even have to be you that’s doing these check. Safety is everybody’s responsibility.
If a forklift truck driver sees the dock leveller lip wobbling as they’re driving over it, they should be encouraged to report it.
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