Loading Dock Rules and Regulations

A number of loading dock rules and regulations, including EC Directives and Standards, are in place to ensure the proper use of machinery and equipment.

Below, we also present a guide to best practice in loading dock safety that is applicable at all times.


2006/42/EC – Machinery Directive

A combination of mandatory requirements and voluntary standards in order to harmonise essential health & safety requirements when using machinery in the loading dock.

89/655/EEC – Use of Work Equipment Directive

The minimum safety and health requirements for using work equipment, including new and second hand equipment, to ensure it is suitable, safe and used only by appropriately trained personnel.


BS EN 1398 – Dock Leveller

Accepted in all EU states, this outlines recommended ramp inclines and defines appropriate precautions that must be made in design and manufacture of the device for effective loading dock safety.

BS EN 1570 – Scissor Lift Table

Likewise, this standard defines safety precautions that must be made in the design and manufacture of scissor lift equipment, in addition to advice on how testing should be carried out on the product.


Correct maintenance of all equipment in line with Use of Work Equipment Directive and FEM Thorough Examination Guidelines 11.001 & 11.002

Applicable to lift tables and dock levellers, the Thorough Examination Guidelines are drawn up by FEM, Federation Europeene de la Manutention (European Federation of Materials Handling)

Best Practice

FEM Guidance on Safety on-Around A Vehicle Loading Area – http://www.fem-eur.com/index.php/prodGroups_elevating/en/

Make appropriate and correct information on loading dock safety available to staff at all times.

Train personnel, including refresher courses when required.

Ensure supervision of staff is entrusted to suitably qualified personnel.

Complete risk assessment of all operations.

Minimise risk through good house keeping, including removal of fire hazards and clearing of debris to prevent tripping.

Conduct visual inspection of loading/unloading areas prior to operation.

Use only competent personnel to service equipment.