Shipping & Manufacturing Facilities: A Few Safety TipsPeter Kavia
Warehouses and manufacturing facilities are, on their best days, structures that function like well-oiled machines. Like most machines, though, there’s always a chance for something to go wrong.
When there’s an issue at an industrial facility, the ramifications can be shocking to say the least. In a best case scenario, one only has to worry about a loss of profits. At the worst, one may have to deal with a catastrophic loss of life.
That’s why it’s so important to deal with preventable issues before they become real problems. One such issue that’s incredibly easy to deal with is the potential for fall injuries.
Slip and fall injuries are the bane of any workplace. All it takes is one misplaced step for an employee to tumble to the ground, and the level of damage that one can sustain in such a fall can be far greater than you might expect.
In a warehouse or shipping context, a slip and fall can be even worse – a worker might collide with machinery or find himself or herself tumbling off of a loading dock. Fortunately, a bit of foresight can help you to prevent some of the worst-case scenarios from occurring. A few useful products can literally make the difference between life and death.
Perhaps the most important piece of safety equipment you can put into place in a facility with a loading bay or dock is a side mounted guard rail. There’s nothing fancy about them, and the humble guard rail really hasn’t changed much in the past several decades. There’s a reason for that, of course – guard rails are simple and effective.
Guardrails specifically designed for loading docks are side mounted versus top mounted to decrease the possibility of trips and allow you to keep valuable floor space. The railings can also be removable to allow for a bigger openings as needs may arise.
Putting up a rail can help you to prevent an individual who’s not paying attention from falling off a dock, while providing guidance for those who might have their sight otherwise impeded. Simply putting up the railings can help you drastically reduce the potential for an accident.
Safety gates are likewise quite useful in industrial settings. By creating a simple point of entry and exit, you can cordon off areas that might be dangerous.
Gates may not always prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to a dangerous area, but they serve as a valuable warning – individuals who go through gates are generally cognizant of the fact that they’re going through a barrier.
If you’ve got a large loading dock, a split opening cantilever gate might be the best way for you to impede unauthorized access while still keeping a wide berth open for materials heading out to the trucks. These gates are simple and easy to use, but provide a wide access point when they need to be opened.
Safety gates that swing inwards have a large turning radius and take up a lot of real estate in your shipping area. Vertical of cantilever gates allow you to keep your floor space and still give you the benefits of a fall protection gate.
If you’re looking for something a bit more static or that is a bit easier to move, a single opening cantilever gate can do the job just as well. It’s difficult to go wrong with either choice, though, as they can prevent falls through providing a simple blockage point.
The Result: More Protection
If you want to provide your industrial facility with a greater level of fall protection, your first and best set of tools will be barriers. Whether you are looking for a permanent or permeable solution, the truth of the matter is that taking these small steps can make your workplace safer for both you and for those who work for you.