OSHA Revised Standard 1910.26 Sets New Dockboard Requirements

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced a revised standard that may affect material handling companies and their customers. The standard, OSHA a revision to 49 CFR 1910.26, discusses walking-working surfaces, specifically dockboards. 
Dockboards are defined by OSHA as “devices for spanning short distances between, for example, two barges, that is not higher than four feet (1.22m) above the water or next lower level.” Dockboards include, but are not limited to, bridge plates, dock plates, and dock levelers.
The standard outlines that anyone using a dockboard (used to bridge the gap from the facility to the truck) that was put into use starting January 17, 2017 must include side walls or another measure to prevent objects or vehicles from running off the dockboard edge. 
OSHA provides an exception to the standard by saying that “when an employer demonstrates there is no hazard of transfer vehicles running off the dockboard edge, the employer may use dockboards that do not have run-off protection.”
Dockboard design and structural requirements, including requirements for run-off guards, can be found in ANSI MH30.2-2015, Portable Dock Leveling Devices.