Jay Gervasi, P.A. Attorney at Law
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Worker safety is crucial around loading docks

Loading docks are places where workers will routinely load and unload a variety of heavy or otherwise hazardous materials. Therefore, it is important that measures are taken to ensure their safety at all times. It may be a good idea for companies in North Carolina to make sure that wheel chocks are available whenever items are being offloaded. These devices are designed to ensure that wheels cannot slip or otherwise move while this is happening.

Workers should also be taught lifting best practices to avoid strains or sprains. For instance, an employee should know how to lift with their legs to avoid putting undue pressure on their back. Furthermore, a lift or hand truck should be available to those who are lifting especially heavy objects. Anyone who works in a loading or unloading station should receive forklift training.

That training should be specific to the type of machines that an individual may be required to use. Training should occur on a regular basis to ensure that workers don't pick up bad habits. Workers should be given protective equipment for their ears, eyes and face. Special footwear and helmets may also be required depending on the environment a person is working in. Keeping a dock dry and clean can further reduce the chances of a person slipping or falling.

Those who are hurt at work may want to apply for workers' compensation benefits. As part of this process, it will likely be necessary to tell an employer about a workplace injury and how it happened. Once an employer has been made aware of the injury, the employer must take reasonable steps to provide assistance. This may mean giving a worker time off to heal or to see a doctor after being hurt on the job.

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