GMR Safety’s Newest Product Designed To Prevent Loading Dock Door Damage and Dock Drop-Offs

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The safe movement of cargo and material into and out of your facility is one of the most important tasks at your company. Where does this cargo enter and exit? Usually the loading dock—often one of the most dangerous work areas at your facility. Why so dangerous? Loading dock drop-offs caused by the truck unexpectedly pulling away from the dock. Add to that the hazard of your expensive material handling equipment damaging your valuable loading dock doors. Put these two together and you have the formula for disaster. Combat these hazards by using the Clear to Go™ Loading Dock Barrier coupled with the Power Chock™ system.

Loading docks are typically crowded, noisy, and busy places where confusion can rein. That’s why loading docks are often one of the most hazardous areas in a company’s facility. Fall hazards, struck-by hazards, atmospheric hazards from carbon monoxide and diesel fumes, they all pose threats to employees. Not only are employee injuries a serious consideration, damage to equipment and cargo must also be taken in account.

The main focus of the loading dock area is the movement of freight in and out of the facility. Dock doors, forklifts, and dock plates all must be kept in tip-top shape to assist in the flow of material.

GMR Safety has developed a product to prevent drop-off and protect dock doors from damage. The product is the CLEAR TO GO SB system. Gaétan Jetté, President of GMR Safety, explains that with the CLEAR TO GO SB system, the aim remains to increase the overall safety level of warehouse employees, as well as to protect the company against costs associated with injures and damage caused to loading dock. Forklifts that are handling pallets often come into contact with dock doors, and damage the inside panels and hardware.


CLEAR TO GO SB is a barrier system of protective bars positioned in front of the dock door where the semi-trailer is docked. The system triggers an alarm whenever a passing pallet forklift truck strikes the barrier. CLEAR TO GO SB is being introduced with the ultimate objective of working in tandem with the POWER CHOCK, a sensor-equipped outdoor chock and plate system that helps eliminate hazardous movements of semi-trailers during the loading and unloading of goods.

Supported by a metal freestanding post, CLEAR TO GO SB consists of one standard sidebar to which one or two vertical bars are added, as required. Recently visited food distributor Colabor, located in the Montreal region, where Mr. Denis Troie, Logistics Manager for this company, declared “an invention of this type has been needed for some time now, adding that, on average, operators render eight doors inoperative each month.”

Monetary costs related to this repeated damage can be very high, especially when labour costs are added to the expense of replacing loading dock door panels.


Loading docks and associated warehouse facilities are typically set up differently, since each company has it’s own needs for material handling and cargo management. CLEAR TO GO SB adapts itself and fits within any given procedure aimed at maximum operational efficiency and safety. “At Colabor, where CLEAR TO GO SB systems have already been installed, we need two vertical bars because our pallets are wide and can damage the dock door or even break through it,” says Mr. Troie.

“The space between rows of goods being very limited, we need to warn the operator when goods on stand-by are moved near the dock used for transhipment,” Mr. Troie added as a justification for purchasing this sort of device.

“At Molson, however, there is no vertical bar on the CLEAR TO GO SB barrier, as operators’ safety is the only issue of concern”, according to Ms. Sophie Bureau, Marketing Director for GMR Safety, adding that at Colabor, “this concern is added to that of preventing dock drop-off.”

When the pallet or lift truck strikes the CLEAR TO GO SB barrier, an alarm signal is triggered advising the operator of the impending risk.

Mr. Jetté told us that the Montreal brewery installs the barrier farther from the dock in order to provide additional safety distance to its employees when they reach the CLEAR TO GO SB. In this way, the triggering of the alarm reduces risks of falling off the dock.

As we previously stated, the CLEAR TO GO SB system is an economical safety complement to the POWER CHOCK. Mr. Troie finally explained that Colabor had fourty POWER CHOCK installed at the same loading docks where the CLEAR TO GO SB systems were set up.

He adds, “This complementary device enables us to implement a complete safety sequence for the operator. When a driver parks the truck and semi-trailer at the dock for loading/unloading, he or she must come out of the vehicle to install the chock (POWER CHOCK system). Once this is done, a red light flashes outside and the panel inside indicates the operator can activate the dock doors. He or she then lifts the CLEAR TO GO SB barrier in order to complete the preparation prior to installation of the dock leveler.”

Since all of these systems being electronic and controlled using a sophisticated panel installed on the side of the loading dock door, failure to comply with the safety sequence cannot occur without triggering an alarm signal indicating a potential hazard. When the operator has completed the work, the safety sequence must be repeated, but this time in reverse.

Given the large volume of goods this class of employees handles daily, such devices provide the company with additional protection to ensure the safety of its employees and prevent damage to all 40 loading dock doors at Colabor’s warehouse.

The CLEAR TO GO SB system has proven it self to prevent drop-off and reduce damage to dock doors, preventing injuries and saving time and money. GMR has ones again designed a product that can be used in the real world to enhance profits and productivity.

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Sophie Bureau
GMR Safety inc.
1-888-629-4494 ext. 208
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