Editor's Note

Editor’s Note: What’s up, docks?

“Workplace Solutions,” our monthly Q&A with experts from safety product manufacturing companies and service providers, has been around a long time.

In 2017, we published a column that answered the question, “When is a guardrail required on a loading dock, and when will a visual barrier suffice?” To our surprise, we received dozens of comments – so many of them asking specific questions about loading docks that we arranged a follow-up piece in 2018 to provide some answers. We also published a feature article in 2020, written by Associate Editor Alan Ferguson.

But the questions/comments to the original Q&A keep coming – the latest just a week ago. So, we recently pulled many of the questions into some general categories and asked OSHA for an expert to speak with us.

Enter Reginald Jackson, a safety and health specialist with OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs.

Jackson first spoke with Alan and fellow Associate Editors Barry Bottino and Kevin Druley for a recent “On the Safe Side” podcast. It’s an extended episode in which Jackson discusses guardrails, aisles and passageways, dock plates, mirrors, conveyors, color-coding systems, the importance of housekeeping – and the surprises some employers experience when they buy new equipment only to discover it won’t fit through the dock door. You can find the episode on our website or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

From that talk, Kevin has pulled together his “5 steps for safe operations” article for this month. So whether you’re looking for overall best practices you can read and share, or you’d like to listen to specific advice straight from the mouth of an OSHA expert, we’ve got it for you. Keep asking questions, and thanks for all you do to keep people safe.

Melissa J. Ruminski The opinions expressed in “Editor’s Note” do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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