loading docks
Overhead Door and Loading Dock Safety Solutions
December 16, 2022
loading docks
Overhead Door and Loading Dock Safety Solutions
December 16, 2022

Running an effective and efficient warehouse or shipping space is no easy matter. Running it safely is even more difficult. With all the moving parts and people, the risk of an accident is always there. 

Besides the heavy machinery milling about, some of the more dangerous pieces of loading dock equipment are rolling overhead doors. They’re not just dangerous on their own—all those moving parts and its overall size and weight—but they’re also heavily and frequently used.

With all these potential problems, keeping your employees safe needs to be your #1 priority. Not only does it protect them from injury, which again is paramount, but that feeling of security leads to happier and more productive workers.

To that end, we’ve put together some tips to keep your workers out of harm’s way around overhead doors. Don’t worry… they’re not too complicated.

1) Don’t walk or stand under a moving overhead door

Commercial overhead doors are not your typical residential garage doors. They are much wider, taller, heavier, and they open higher. All that means is that when something fails and the door falls, it falls faster and much harder. You don’t want to be underneath one if that happens.

Instead, wait until the door is completely open and motionless, and check to make sure the overhead door is stopped and secured in the correct position before you pass through the doorway. 

More importantly, do not walk under an overhead door while it’s closing and on the way down. Some commercial overhead doors don’t have sensors to stop the door like residential garages do, and their heavier weight makes them harder to stop in an emergency.

You may lose a few seconds in waiting, but you’ll save yourself from a few-hundred pounds of metal free-falling on you.

2) Keep the overhead door area clear of obstructions

Like any workspace, you should keep the loading dock and overhead door area clean and clear of any obstructions. Don’t let boxes pile up, and make sure all heavy machinery are at a safe distance from the door at all times.

For one, your workers need to be able to move freely without worrying about tripping or slipping on something. For two, the overhead door is liable to get damaged or break entirely if it runs into anything on the way up or down. A broken spring or a wheel off the track could spell disaster at any moment.

If an overhead door does get damaged in any way, you need to shut that bay down immediately and fix the door. We know a company that can help you with that—oh wait, it’s us!

3) Use a man door to exit the work area

It might sound crazy, but the best way to stay safe around something is to just avoid it entirely. If you don’t walk through the overhead door, it can’t fall on you. In this case, we can avoid the overhead door by using a man door instead. 

Man doors are perfectly safe for all worker ingress and egress. They are nothing more than your run-of-the-mill, outwardly opening door. Commercial man doors are usually made of thick metal and feature robust security measures, so you can keep your workers safe and your space secure.

4) Ask McKee about our enhanced dock & door safety solutions

Since we’re on the topic of mitigating risk with overhead doors—let’s talk about our enhanced safety solutions for your loading dock or commercial space:

    • Safety gates and barriers by APS, including security chains, impact barriers, slider rails, safety gates, and folding security gates

These safety products can be the difference between life and death. An unsecured semi, a falling door, or a fall from the loading dock can all be fatal. Keep your workers safe, happy, and able to do their job without worry.

5) Get McKee’s ProCare scheduled maintenance program

Even the best safety solutions can fail if they’re not properly maintained. Moving parts wear down and eventually fail, leading to accidents and injuries—or worse.

You don’t just need repair coverage when your equipment breaks; you also need scheduled routine maintenance to prevent them from breaking in the first place. What you need is McKee’s ProCare maintenance package.

Our ProCare technicians will take care of anything you could possibly need for your overhead dock and door equipment:

    • Scheduled performance inspections and planned maintenance

    • Safety inspections that address OSHA, Ohio Fire Code, and NFPA requirements

    • Adjustment, lubricating, and cleaning of equipment

    • Clear and thorough inspection, maintenance, and repair documentation

    • 24/7 Emergency Service with radio-dispatched trucks

    • On-site stock of commonly worn and replaced parts

    • Expert technicians with state-of-the-art tools and the right parts for the job

    • Dedicated Professional Customer Care team to address all your needs

McKee is here for you

We’re more than overhead and commercial door experts, we’re your partners from start to finish. We work with you to find the best solutions for your budget, then install and maintain all equipment. That’s the kind of turnkey service you won’t find anywhere else.

Don’t wait for something to break before you get help. Contact us today to see what kind of dock and door solutions we have for you. 

You can message us here, call 614-482-2305 for our Columbus office, or call 513-548-4225 for our Cincinnati office.