Loading Dock Lighting Requirements

The loading dock area of any manufacturing facility is sure to be buzzing with activity. To maintain a safe, cohesive working environment for all, careful consideration must be given to logistical elements such as adequate lighting. The ability to see clearly is not only helpful, but crucial to plant operations.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), “Appropriate lighting can reduce eye fatigue and headache, increase the visibility of safety hazards, and decrease the chance of accidents and injuries from momentary low field vision.” While specific lighting requirements may vary by jurisdiction, all loading dock lighting requirements are designed to help keep both people and product in tip-top shape. Here is a closer look at some general recommendations for effective dock lighting.

Overview of Loading Dock Lighting Requirements

  1. The entire loading dock area must be adequately lit. Optimum visibility at the loading dock includes the interior of trailers and surrounding areas. Without proper lighting, workers are at an increased risk of injury due to collisions and falls. Ideally, regular checks should be completed to ensure that all lightbulbs are still working and burnt bulbs are quickly replaced. Additional areas that require illumination should also be identified and immediately updated with adequate dock lighting.
  2. Invest in the best lights for a rigorous, industrial environment. Selecting heavy duty lights to withstand the regular wear and tear of a loading dock area is both prudent and cost-effective. Further dock lighting recommendations include opting for lights that remain cool to the touch and have bend points to accommodate potential obstructions.
  3. Ensure that the level of light is safe and comfortable for performance of work. Safety and comfort must be maintained to maximize employee health and productivity. Workers should be able to perform tasks without having to repeatedly strain their eyes or crane their necks. Any glare produced by dock lights should also be addressed as soon as possible.
  4. Emergency lighting should be adequate and regularly tested. In today’s world of unpredictable weather patterns and natural disasters, you just never know when emergency lighting may become necessary. Plan ahead with appropriate emergency lighting. Exits and escape routes must be clearly visible. And remember to test emergency lighting on a regular basis to ensure proper illumination.
  5. Allow for an even distribution of light. Not only should dock lighting cover the expanse of the loading dock and surrounding area, but it must also be evenly distributed throughout. Sudden changes in visibility can lead to accidents and potential injuries, especially when machinery is involved.
  6. Select the right location for dock lighting. As they say in the real estate market, location is everything! Appropriate lighting should be installed in a strategic manner to increase visibility. Consider ease of use for workers who may be tasked with testing emergency lighting or changing burnt light bulbs. Think about the level of activity surrounding the light source. All these elements must be given due consideration to optimize the health and safety of workers.
  7. Consult a professional. Experts in the loading dock and material handling industry can offer valuable advice when it comes to finding the best products for your loading dock area. A variety of innovative solutions are available to address loading dock lighting requirements and meet your distinct manufacturing needs.

Traffic Lights and Light Communication Packages

Another important consideration of loading dock lighting requirements is traffic control. Safety experts recommend installing a system of traffic lights to communicate to drivers. By alerting drivers of when to shut off their engines and engage their brakes, traffic lights help to reduce the incidence of ‘drive-away’ and ‘trailer creep’ – two significant loading dock issues that can result in severe injury or material damage.

Light communication packages are an ideal solution for heavy traffic in the loading dock area. A complete light communication package includes LED indoor and outdoor traffic lights, and a mirror image driver warning sign. This package can also be interlocked with dock lips, mechanical vehicle constraints, and overhead doors. Light communication packages are available in both manual and automated applications to suit various warehouse needs and configurations.

The Critical Role of Loading Dock Lighting

Appropriate lighting plays a critical role in the reduction of workplace hazards. As the loading dock area can accommodate both the loading and unloading of goods from multiple vehicles (at a brisk pace), there is an elevated risk of accidents and job-related injury. Every loading dock area must be adequately lit in order to create a safe and comfortable working environment.
Loading dock lighting requirements help to protect workers from harm and facilitate a more efficient and productive workplace. Recommendations include adequate lighting for the entire loading dock area (and surround), the selection of resilient, heavy-duty lighting to withstand harsh conditions, an appropriate level of light to perform workplace tasks, sufficient emergency lighting with regular testing, an even distribution of light throughout the facility, and strategic positioning of lights to minimize risk and maximize potential.

Consult a Professional for Your Loading Dock Lighting Needs

Finally, consider the benefits of professional advice when it comes to managing your loading dock needs. With over 60 years of experience as the premier provider of safe, effective, and innovative loading docks and material handling equipment, Blue Giant continues to serve satisfied customers across the globe. Our dock lighting products are durable, long-lasting, cost effective, and most importantly, built with safety in mind. Contact us today to learn more about our unique safety and lighting solutions, including traffic lights and optimum light communication packages.