Damaged loading dock floors can be a workplace hazard, according to the National Safety Council. A qualified structural engineer can determine the amount of deterioration of a floor’s supporting parts and load-carrying capacity. The council offers the following tips to help keep loading dock areas safe:
If the loading dock has a wood surface, it must be checked regularly for stress. Sagging is a major sign of stress. Also, inspect the wood floor for rot, wear and punctures. At times, a section of wood flooring may need to be replaced. In this instance, new flooring flush may need to be installed with the existing flooring. Badly worn or loose wood-block flooring can be replaced with anchored wood blocks.
Concrete docks may become a problem if not properly maintained, as vehicles operating on the floor surface may swerve or run off a dock. Heavy equipment, excessive weight and unequal distribution of materials may result in the overloading of the dock floor. Signs should be posted stating the allowable weight limits for loads, and horizontal lines can be painted on the walls to show the maximum height of stacked materials. To repair a concrete floor, chip out the damaged area and square the space off as much as possible. After thoroughly cleaning the area, trowel in cement mortar and keep traffic off the area.