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Mar 8

OSHA Dock Loading Requirements

Question:  When is a guardrail required on a loading dock and when will a visual barrier suffice?

Answer:  The current OSHA standard 26 CFR 1910.23(b) related to protection for wall openings and holes states that every wall opening from which there is a drop of more than 4 feet shall be guarded by an actual fall protection barrier.

Keep in mind OSHA only covers federal requirements, some states might have their own stricter requirements.  For the majority of the docks, a visual barrier is sufficient.  The barrier should be bright in color, preferably yellow, since it is the international safety color meaning “warning”.

It is always be good practice to close all bay doors when docks are not being used.

For more information about OSHA requirements or other safety concerns at work, please contact your local TSS office or email

Rod Seals, COSS, CPCT, BAT

TSS, Inc.