Dock Board & Dock Plate Safety and Handling

Dock boards and dock plates are an essential part of any loading zone.

They are the piece that bridges the gap, merging your dock with the trucks and vehicles that pull up to it.  On any given day, thousands of dollars of product is moved over these dock boards and plates.

It’s important that you’re using them correctly.

Proper usage of dock boards and plates ensures the safety of your cargo and the safety of your works.  We’ve highlighting a few tips on best practices when handling dock boards and plates.

Knowing the Difference Between Dock Boards and Dock Plates

We’ve heard some people use the terms interchangeably before, but it’s important to remember that a dock board is not the same as a dock plate.  Dock boards are heavy duty pieces of steel with side curbs designed to prevent machines from rolling off the edges.  Dock boards are built to handle power equipment such as forklifts.  Because of this, dock boards are heavy and often require equipment to move them.

Dock plates, on the other hand, are designed to be more mobile.  Lightweight by design, a dock plate can be moved by hand, yet is still strong enough to support pallet jacks.

Dock board Safety

The biggest element of dock board safety, is transportation and handling.  Because they are designed to support heavy equipment, they are quite heavy.  A worker should never try and move a dock board by themselves.

Dock Plate Safety

Dock plates are considerably easier to move.  Still, it’s important to follow proper lifting techniques when maneuvering these pieces of equipment.  Since dock plates are light, workers need to be mindful of their support capacity.  Trying to move heavy equipment over a dock plate can result in damage to the dock plate and potentially the cargo being transported.

Also, unlike dock boards, dock plates do not have raised curbs on the edges.  If you are pushing a pallet jack across a dock plate, make sure you do not go off the edge.

In Closing

Though dock boards and plates are simple by design, it’s important to show care when using them.  By following the proper procedures, you can make sure that these tools are a value asset to your warehouse instead of a liability.

Do you have any questions about dock boards or dock plates?  Any further suggestions for safe usage?

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