Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay: Safe Equipment To Use Near The Waterfront

Water and electricity are never a good combo. Yet, when you work in a warehouse on the docks near a waterfront, you are so close to experiencing what it is like to be struck by lightning. So, what kind of dock equipment can you use in the warehouse, and how can you make the job safer? I looks something like this.

Hand Trucks for Small Deliveries 

Hand trucks, also known as "dollies" in some parts of the country, require no electricity. They are used for moving small deliveries and small batches of product around. Many of them are made of aluminum, which does not conduct electricity in the event some freak accident would put the hand truck in contact with an electrical flow. If the hand trucks were to get wet from the spray of the water crashing against the pier/dock outside, you are still safe from harm.

Manual Pallet Jacks

As nice as it is to have pallet jack trucks, the safest option under these circumstances is the manual pallet jack. Dock and warehouse staff pull these jacks along behind them or lean into the upright handles to push and steer a load. If a pallet jack suddenly takes a nose-dive off of the pier/dock, it will not electrically charge the water below. You will still need to hire some professional divers to retrieve the jack, but at least the divers will not have to concern themselves with electrically-charged water.

Forklifts with Auto Shut-off and Rechargeable Batteries

For the largest loads you still need a forklift or two. To ensure everyone's safety, you can buy forklifts that have rechargeable batteries that have an auto shut-off feature for safety. When these batteries get wet or are submerged in water, they shut off. Since they are also rechargeable, their power will quickly drain. That makes it easier and safer to retrieve these warehouse vehicles after a flood, after driving off the edge of the dock or falling into the water, and/or after a hurricane has completely pummeled the warehouse and everything inside.

Rubber-Covered Conveyor Belts

Rubber diffuses electrical current and is not affected by freshwater or seawater.  If you buy a conveyor belt with an engine and a completely rubberized transit path, you can still unload trucks swiftly but without the potential dangers of water and electricity. It is more expensive than your metal casters-type of conveyor belt, but it is worth it.

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