Loading docks are the center of the action in Pennsylvania manufacturing plants and warehouses, and because of this, they are the site of frequent accidents and injuries. Employers will want to consider the following five steps toward a safer loading dock.

Every year, more than 100,000 injuries are caused by the use of powered industrial trucks, so employers should, above all else, provide the proper training for this type of equipment. This includes forklifts, lift trucks and electric pallet jacks. When operators use such equipment in an unsafe manner, employers will need to set up refresher courses for them. Everyone else should take their courses every three years.

Next, employers will want to minimize the number of slips, trips and falls on their loading docks by repairing potholes, cracks, worn bumpers and other hazards. Workers should be trained on mopping up spills and sweeping up debris. Employers should be aware that kitty litter works well on oil spills.

Workers should also be trained to load and unload properly with an emphasis placed on the handling of flammable and combustible materials. Fourth, workers should be given the right safety gear: eye and ear protection, gloves, high-visibility safety vests, etc. Lastly, the trucks unloading their cargo should have chocks on the wheels.

When an employee is injured, employers may have to face a workers’ compensation claim. Victims, for their part, may file a claim without having to show that anyone was negligent. Workers’ comp benefits may cover medical bills and any short- or long-term disability leave. Those who are already receiving benefits might opt for a lump sum settlement. For advice and guidance, victims may want to see a lawyer. Should an appeal be necessary, their lawyer may assist with the process.