Loading docks are a hub of activity in manufacturing, warehouses, industrial buildings, and distribution centers. In most companies, this is the primary location of movement of product in and out of a facility. A loading dock is a recessed bay in a facility where trucks are loaded and unloaded. Loading docks may be exterior, flush with the building envelope, or fully enclosed. When looking at the different operations taking place in a warehouse, distribution center, or other loading/unloading operations, loading dock environments can be one of the more hazardous areas.
The occupational safety and health administration (OHSA) regulation specific to loading dock safety is found in 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.176 material handlings. The majority of all regulations for loading docks are actually a part of OSHA rules for the operation and design of forklifts used on loading docks.