Loading bay safety always needs special attention, says Mentor Training.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified loading and unloading goods as the highest risk activity commonly conducted in the UK, accounting for up to 30% of workplace transport incidents.
Mentor Training technical manager Steve Baldwin agrees with HSE. "Loading bay safety always needs special attention, with so many load, pedestrian and vehicle movements. The extra risks of visiting drivers who don't know your procedures, and the potential for loads to shift in transit also pose a particular safety issue to those working in and around loading bays."
With a pre-Christmas surge in deliveries, often combined with an increase in seasonal staff and changes in working patterns, the northern autumn is arguably the most dangerous time of the year for materials handling employees.
"The extra pressure of the Christmas rush multiplies that risk - but it's something that needs to be considered all year round," Baldwin says.
HSE recommends special safety measures for loading bays, including additional risk assessments, printing procedures on delivering for visiting drivers, and empowering drivers and staff to halt loading or unloading instantly, if they have any concerns.
The Fork Lift Truck Association urges businesses to ensure all staff visiting loading bays, in whatever capacity, are adequately trained to recognise the unique risks involved.