Loading dock levelers present potentially dangerous conditions, and as a business owner, you have to maintain a safe working environment. Managing dock leveler safety can be a difficult task because people, vehicles, and material are constantly in motion. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Worker safety can be further protected by installing a few pieces of equipment on the dock and by engaging in specific safety procedures. Businesses that regularly use a dock leveler for loading and unloading cargo should incorporate the following equipment and safety procedures to better ensure the safety of their employees.


Three pieces of equipment are proven to improve employee and cargo safety when used in conjunction with a dock leveler.

  • Chocks – Even the slight movement of a truck can result in injury to a dock worker. Traditional wheel chocks are a straightforward means to ensure that a vehicle will not move during the loading or unloading process.
  • Mirrors – Trucks need to back into docks. Mirrors installed around the dock make it easier for the truck drivers to pull in to a dock safely.
  • Bumpers – If a truck strikes a dock, the resulting impact could topple cargo. Bumpers installed on the dock soften the occasional impact, protecting cargo.

Dock Lever Maintenance

Like any piece of mechanical equipment, a dock leveler can degrade over time. This degradation could result in failures, which may cause injury or damage. Regular maintenance greatly reduces this threat.

Safety Procedures

The following safety procedures should be followed at all times for maximum safety:

  • Always use a spotter when moving cargo with forklifts.
  • Keep the area clear of slippery substances, extraneous equipment, or people while loading or unloading.
  • Always confirm dock plate load capacity before loading or unloading.

Protecting Cargo and People

Creating a smooth transition between the lip of a truck and the edge of a dock is just the first step in protecting both cargo and dock workers. Following simple safety protocols and using additional safety equipment is critical for optimal protection.

As a family owned and operated business since 1937, Vortex is committed to providing you a fast and thorough response to your needs. Vortex offers , warehouse door installation and repairs, fire door services, dock leveler and dock equipment service and repair, ADA compliance inspections and low-cost preventive maintenance inspections. For more information, contact Vortex Doors online or call 800-698-6783.