Fall Protection and Facility Safety in 2017
As 2017 comes to a close, we took a look back at some of our most popular posts about facility safety and fall protection, and thought we could recap some of that information in an easy way for you to digest as you think about your needs in 2018.
There are areas in warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities that pose risks to employees that stand out immediately; open elevated platforms that get a lot of employee foot traffic is just one example. However, there are often other areas that pose risk that are unidentified, and therefore, unprotected. Leaving areas unprotected not only expose risks to employee health, but also to violation of federal OSHA codes, and as a result, significant fines. These three areas are often overlooked for fall protection and safety:
Pallet drop areas on elevated platforms in which pallets are being loaded by a lift truck: Any opening on elevated platforms where employees are working expose them to the risk of falling - all openings should be secured.
Picking areas empty pallet bays or tote return bays on multiple level pick modules: Just like openings on an elevated work platform or mezzanine, any areas on a pick module where employees have access to an exposed ledge should be secured with a dual-gate system.
Pallet flow bays: While pallet flow lanes are not specifically designed for employee access, there are times where employees enter lanes, which puts them at risk for falling. Ledges of flow lanes should be secured with a physical barrier.
After you determine the areas that need to be secured, you need to select the right safety system. There are a variety of pallet drop gates in the market today, but many models are suited for specific applications and environment. It’s helpful to ask these five questions to make sure you get the right gate for the area you need to secure.
1. Is the pallet drop opening in a guardrail or in a doorway?
2. Is a lift truck used to load pallets up to the area, or is an overhead hoist or crane used?
3. What happens to the material when it’s lifted up to the area?
4. What is the width of the opening? How about the available depth and height, as well as the material width, depth and height?
5. What is the environment in the area like?
Once you pick the right gate for the job, you need to ensure that productivity stays intact, or even improves. Regardless of the operation, safety devices are a must in operations. If you are concerned that a safety device may impede operations or slow productivity, there are three key options to consider.
Power Operation: Using power-operation with our safety gate models can save time in operations in which lift trucks are depositing material to upper levels. Our power-operated systems include safety features like photo eyes and more.
Wireless Controls and Sensors: Adding controls or sensors to the safety devices can also speed operations, especially in those that incorporate AGVs.
Software Integration: Software integration with safety gates can help track product and processes in a facility’s operations, including the time it takes to complete each task.
Keeping employees safe by providing fall protection in every place that it’s needed is of utmost importance. Employees are a business’s greatest asset and key to its success. If you have questions about fall protection in your facility or about what safety gate model is right for your application, please contact us.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday.