Photo of Black Loading Dock Canopy

4 Ways to Keep Loading Docks Dry and Safe

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Slips and falls are the leading cause of workplace injuries, costing employers billions of dollars each year. The loading dock area is one area of the industrial workplace that is very prone to slips and falls. Many moving parts and heavy equipment are used around the loading dock, and one small error can result in death. A large contributor to slips and falls is the slipperiness of the loading dock area, which is from either precipitation or condensation. Read our dock safety checklist and check out the following 4 ways to reduce the slipperiness around the loading dock below.

1. Overhead canopy

A loading dock canopy is positioned above the dock door and cantilevers out over the trailer. A typical canopy above a dock door extends between 4 and 5 feet over the trailer. Industrial property owners usually choose to purchase a long canopy that runs the entire building length to cover all the dock doors, but it is an option to purchase separate canopies for the individual doors.

Overhead canopy for loading dock

Where to find overhead canopies: Upside Innovations LLC

2. Dock door seals or shelters

Dock door seals are located all around the door as a guide for trucks docking at the facility and to prevent outdoor elements from entering. When the trailer presses against the seal, it compresses and should create an air-tight seal. One way to check the seal is to look for light from outside that may come in when a trailer is pressed against the seal. If the light comes through, the seal isn’t tight, and water is bound to enter.

Dock shelters are more enclosed than seals; they comprise fabric curtains fitted with fiberglass stays that put pressure on the sides of the trailer. Shelters are more common than dock seals when the dock door openings are large and service various trailer heights.

Where to find dock seals and shelters: McCormick Equipment Company Inc.RiteHitePentalift

dock door shelter
Loading Dock Door Shelter
dock door seal
Loading Dock

3. Impactable doors

Damage to dock doors frequently occurs due to the forklift or trailer bumping into them. If a non-impactable door is bumped and put off the track, moisture is allowed in until the door is fixed – which may take a while. When an impactable door is bumped, it releases from the track but can be put back in place.

Where to find impactable doors: RiteHite, Rice Equipment Co., Inc.

Loading dock solutions

4. HVLS fan

Sweating slab syndrome” refers to a situation where moisture accumulates inside a warehouse due to the entry of humid air from outside, leading to condensation on surfaces at or below the dew point temperature. Specifically, this phenomenon occurs on the floor. High-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans can be employed to address this issue. These fans effectively decrease the moisture content in the air by circulating large amounts of air at low speeds, thereby dissipating the moisture and promoting drier air conditions.

hlvs fan

Where to find HVLS fans: RiteHite, Humongous Fan

How an HVLS fan works