Floors with a slope should be coated with a slip-resistant coating to prevent falls. A ramp is an inclined walking-working surface that is used to gain access to another level. Dockboards are a great example. A dockboard is a portable or fixed device used to span a gap or compensate for a difference in height between a loading platform and a transport vehicle. Dockboards must be secured in position to prevent slipping. Bent or improperly seated dockboards may also create a hazard. Hands-on training should include how to properly place and secure dockboards to prevent unintentional movement. Dockboards put into service for the first time starting on or after January 17, 2017 must have run-off protection, guards, or curbs. A run-off guard is a vertical projection running parallel with the normal traffic flow at each side of the dockboard. Existing dockboards are grandfathered under the OSHA standard. Employers do not have to use dockboards equipped with run-off guards if there is no fall hazard to guard against.
Measures such as wheel chocks or sand shoes must be used to prevent the transport vehicle on which a dockboard is placed from moving while employees are on the dockboard. Portable dockboards should be equipped with handholds or other means to permit safe handling. Docks carry a hidden risk of injury. Many of us have witnessed a co-worker jumping off a shipping dock to a lower level. To most employees, this may seem an innocent practice, but there were over 5,000 lost-time injuries in a single year attributed to jumping to a lower level. Jumping off forklifts, docks, or any other elevated surface is clearly unsafe. Use the stairs or ladder provided for this purpose and minimize your risk of injury.
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