6 Safety Tips for Shipping & Receiving Employees


The shipping and receiving area can be a dangerous place. If you’re working there, you need to stay vigilant to protect your own safety. Your company will do everything it can to prevent accidents. But, ultimately, it’s up to you to maintain the highest level of compliance. 

Data show that 25% of industrial accidents take place on the loading dock. This number shouldn’t come as a surprise. The shipping and receiving area represents a hive of activity, much of it involving heavy machinery, like forklifts. Docks also have edges, places where dangerous falls are a significant risk. 


With so many injury risks, it’s important to stay alert and to understand the biggest accident risks. Here are six tips for shipping and receiving employees that will keep you safe in one of the most dangerous parts of any facility: 


Don’t Overdo It

It’s important to take a calm, organized approach to shipping and receiving work. The process can get hectic, and there is often pressure to operate quickly in order to keep things moving. However, to maintain the highest safety compliance, you should conduct yourself in a measured and controlled way. 

In simple terms, don’t overdo it. Take your time to complete tasks properly. Don’t rush and take multiple trips if necessary. 

Watch Your Back 

Not all injuries come as a result of sudden events. Repetitive injury represents a significant danger as well. The constant lifting and bending required to run a busy shipping and receiving dock can put a serious toll on back muscles. 


Take precautions to protect your back over the long term. That means avoiding strain as much as possible. Also, always use proper lifting procedures and utilize the proper equipment when needed. 


Keep Things Organized 

Incoming materials can come in fast, leaving you scrambling to unload trucks before the next one arrives. On the other end, inventory can build up, as you wait for the next shipment to depart. All this can turn the dock area into a puzzle, with you left to figure out where to store things temporarily. 


Despite this pressure, keep the shipping and receiving area organized. Eliminate as much clutter as possible, in order to maintain clear travel pathways. Plan out where everything needs to be, so that all materials can get processed as efficiently as possible. 


Store Everything Properly 

The difficulty you face finding room for all the products coming into the dock can lead to another problem: longer-term storage. It may take time to find a place in the warehouse for everything. Meanwhile, the inventory waiting to get shipped out could sit for a significant period of time 


Follow the proper procedures every time you need to store something. In particular, watch out not to stack things too high. Unstable collections of products can become a dangerous Jenga game. Falling materials can cause a serious injury risk. 


Use the Proper Equipment (and Use Equipment Properly) 

No matter what time pressures you face, don’t cut corners. It may seem like a good idea to save a little time by skipping important safety procedures. However, it isn’t worth the risk just to gain a slight boost to productivity.


Even when using the proper procedures, the shipping and receiving docks present potential dangers. Items like forklifts and pallet jacks present serious risks of serious injury if used carelessly. Make sure you use all equipment properly. 


Watch Out for Others 

Your safety isn’t the only concern when you’re working a shipping and receiving gig. You also have responsibility for the safety of everyone around you.  As such, watch out for your fellow workers as you go about your business. 


Looking for a New Job? Contact DHR Today!

You should consider a company’s safety profile before taking any shipping and receiving position. The job doesn’t need to pose unnecessary dangeras long as both you and your employer are committed to safety. Working with a top-flight staffing firm, like DHR, helps you find the firms with the right level of commitment.  


Contact DHR today to locate the perfect placement for you. 


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