Warehouse Loading Dock Safety

Is your storage warehouse concerned with safety involving your loading dock? Loading dock safety is a fundamental component of owning and operating a warehouse and if you’re not being too careful, injuries can occur to employees, leading to claims on your moving and storage insurance. Whether it’s operator error, someone falling off or a vehicle prematurely leaving the dock before it is secured, there are an array of damages that can occur. Here are some safety tips for warehouse operators to take into account:

• Paint the dock edge yellow to make the hazard visually apparent to employees.
• Require wheel chocking at every bay door. When a trailer creeps or pulls out prematurely, the lift truck may fall between the trailer and the floor which could lead to a serious injury.
• Allow only trained and authorized employees to operate hand trucks or hand jacks. These types of devices pose risks to those who don’t have much experience using this type of machinery.
• Inspect the dock area on a daily basis to make sure that fire extinguishers are not blocked or damaged.
• Make sure dock plates are designed for the loads and lift trucks that will use them.
• Clean out dock areas often to remove any debris that may have accumulated. Wood and other combustible materials may get lodged between dock plates.
• Install barriers to protect pipes or other building structures that can be struck by a lift truck or load.
• Inspect the strength and quality of the trailer floors before a lift truck is driven onto them. Also, inspect trailer wheels to make sure they are locked-in place to prevent it from tripping.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management, we aim to help storage warehouse operators get the information they need in order to get the most out of their futures. For more information on warehouse loading dock safety and how injuries can affect your storage insurance, contact us today with your questions.

Warehouse Liability FAQ

As the owner or operator of a warehouse, there are many things you ought to be looking into in regards to safety. Warehouses come with a variety of dangers and hazards and sometimes, even when you’re being careful, things can happen that may lead you to file a claim on your liability insurance. But what exactly is liability insurance and what can it provide coverage for? Here are some frequently asked questions about liability protection with your moving and storage insurance:

What is warehouse liability insurance?

This type of coverage is designed to protect warehouse owners against loss or damage to property of others while under their control. When you, the owner of the warehouse, are found to be liable for loss or damage to property belonging to someone else, the liability insurance will pay off the damages.

What if a lawsuit is filed against me?

Defense costs related to a lawsuit brought on behalf of the owner would also be covered if the policy includes a clause for defense and any other legal costs you may incur.

What is the difference between released value and declared value?

There are two main options for the owner’s valuation of the goods in their warehouse, released value and declared value. Released value is when the property owner declines any additional level of protection other than the dollar amount per pound that the warehouse owner offers in their tariff and bill of lading. Declared value is when the property owner purchases a higher valuation for his goods.

What protection do customers have when they are entrusting you with holding their goods?

In some cases, the customer’s homeowner’s insurance may provide some coverage for damaged goods. However, in most instances a homeowner’s policy will not apply. The warehouse owner’s legal liability policy will only pay for loss or damage to the owner’s goods based on the declared value chosen by the owner.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management warehouse owners who are looking for answers to their questions can always talk to us. When it comes to movers insurance, we have the information you’re looking for in Massachusetts. Contact us today!

Does an Internal Shift Affect My Insurance?

As the owner or manager of a moving company, – you have a lot on your plate. A lot of things can happen during a move that your employees and company can be found liable for, specifically when it comes to property damage relating to customers. However, while your Bill of Lading and tariff will normally dictate how you’re responsible if property is damaged during transportation, what happens if customer property is damaged during an internal shift? Will your movers insurance cover it?

Moving property within rooms or floors in a building is different from “transporting.” When you move an object within a building, it’s called an “internal shift” whereas transporting or shipping involves moving property within two separate locations. For example, an internal shift could include relocating equipment within a business or moving a piano from one room to another in a house. Also, moving property outside but within buildings that are part of the same complex is also considered an internal shift.

In most cases, including in Massachusetts, the Bill of Lading and tariff will have stipulations about what the movers are responsible for in the event of damages. Consider the following stipulations included in a Bill of Lading that would not reflect an internal shift:

Shipper: When performing an internal shift, there is no shipment. Therefore, there is no shipper.
Carrier: No trucking means no carrier services are being provided.
Transportation facilities and services: No transportation of property of motor vehicle means the Bill of Lading does not apply.
Tariff: The tariff only applies to transportation and ancillary services (pack & load).
Delivery: Customer has never relinquished possession…thus there can be no delivery.

A common moving carrier, such as one that works in moving household goods, is considered to be a virtual insurer of bailed property. However, when doing an internal shift, the mover is not a carrier. Instead, the mover is a bailee. The customer receives the service requested, the mover secures compensation for the services provided, and both parties benefit.

In Massachusetts, a bailee has to provide ordinary care to bailed property. Failure to provide ordinary care is referred to as negligence. However, not every occurrence producing loss or damage to the bailor’s goods results from the bailiee’s negligence. In the absence of negligence, there is no liability.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management we want moving companies to have the information they need in regards to what their moving insurance does and does not cover. For more questions about your coverage or internal shifts, feel free to contact us today.

Steps to Take When Your Moving Truck Is Pulled Over

We’ve all been pulled over by the police while driving, even when it’s been an honest mistake or a misunderstanding. Sometimes you accidentally go above the speed limit or take a wrong left turn without seeing a sign and that’s okay. However, when you do get pulled over it’s important to stick to a protocol trouble between you and the officer is avoided. If you’re polite and show respect, you may avoid a ticket and any subsequent claims on your movers insurance. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of getting pulled over:

When you first notice flashing police lights…


• Turn off your engine and roll down your window all the way. Keep your hands on the wheel so they are visible to the officer.
• Turn on your hazard lights when you park.
• Always address the police officer as “officer.”


• Get worried or panic. Most stops are for common traffic violations like taking a wrong turn or rolling stops.
• Remove your seat belt. This may lead to the officer alleging you were not wearing your seat belt to begin with which may lead to a ticket or citation.

When you’re face to face with a police officer…


• Stay calm and seated. Unless the officer asks you to get out of the vehicle, do not under any circumstances. This includes any passengers as well.
• Hand over important documents. The officer is going to ask for your license, registration and maybe even your proof of insurance.
• Ask questions. If you’re given a ticket or citation and the charges are not clear to you, ask the officer to clarify.


• Reach for your license, registration or any other item until the officer requests you do so. Sudden hand movements are perceived as a threat to officers, so always keep them visible.
• Argue or create a confrontation. A smile and good attitude will help make the incident go by quickly and smoothly. If you disagree with the citation or ticket, you can deal with it in court.
• Zone out. Listen to what the officer has to say and be respectful when they are saying it.

At Wolpert Insurance and Risk Management it’s our job to make sure moving companies like yours are getting the information and movers insurance you need for the future. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to contact us today.