Loading bays are an integral part of any business but can also be a point of danger. It is estimated that 25% of all reported industrial accidents happen at loading bays. As a business owner, it is paramount that you take the necessary steps to mitigate the risk of harm at a loading bay. This can be achieved in various ways, many of which we will discuss in this article.
What is a loading bay?
A loading bay is a designated area on a commercial premises where lorries can be loaded and unloaded with goods used by the business. The purpose of using a loading bay is to have an area for seamless loading and unloading without disrupting traffic.
In order to accommodate the different sizes of lorries, loading bays are typically built with a height between 3.5-4.5 metres and use a dock plate or dock leveller to enable forklifts to effortlessly enter and exit the lorries.
What are the rules for loading bays?
There are many considerations to take into account when mitigating risk in a loading bay. These include:
- How many bays you fit into one area. To keep efficient, you want to ensure there are enough bays for multiple vehicles to be loaded and unloaded at once, but you also need to ensure that there is enough space around the vehicles for them to travel in and out of the bays safely and for people to walk around the vehicles without getting trapped.
- How high you raise the bay platform. It is safer to have the bay platform slightly lower than the vehicle platform rather than the other way around. Regardless, the edges of the loading bays must be visibly marked.
- Which system you should use to indicate whether it is safe for drivers to reverse. Without these systems, there is a danger of the lorries reversing into someone or something.
- What you should use to fence off platforms or bays. Secure guardrails or removable sections of railing are useful as fencing to prevent people from falling off platforms or bays. Other safeguards could be used if fencing isn’t practical.
Which door should I use?
Another important consideration is the type of door you use at your loading bay.
You’ll first want to ensure you use a door that is quick to open and close. This will maintain efficiency as items get transported in and out regularly.
You’ll also want to use a door that folds upwards instead of swinging outward. This is so that vehicles can park as close to the bay as possible.
Using a door that quickly opens from overhead is also important for businesses that require strict temperature regulation. By using a quick, overhead door, you can ensure the premises are sealed or open for as little time as is required.
For the best doors for loading bays, we highly recommend aluminium roller shutters.
What are aluminium roller shutters?
Aluminium roller shutters are robust, sectional doors that move up and down from overhead. With no need to swing outwards, roller shutters are ideal for loading bays as they allow vehicles to park extremely close to the entrance. Plus, aluminium roller shutters can be automated so that they open and close at the push of a button. You won’t need to wait for someone to come along and manually open the doors, meaning the loading and unloading process will be more efficient than ever.
Royal Industrial Doors has over 25 years of experience producing high-quality aluminium roller shutters for industrial and commercial clients across Luton, Stevenage, Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire, Royal Industrial Doors . For the safest and most efficient loading bays for your business, invest in aluminium roller shutters today.