4 ways aftermarket warehouse safety products can improve your facility

Whether you own or rent your warehouse, there are likely many systems in place to keep your workers protected from harm. Nevertheless, chances are, there are additional measures you can take to increase safety even further.

Aftermarket warehouse safety products offer a way for you to take control of the environment your employees work in. When investing in your facility, consider these types of safety products:

1. Prevent trailer creep

The loading dock is one of the most dangerous areas of the warehouse, and an unsecured trailer amplifies the risk of injury. The jostling of fork trucks, employees and other equipment moving from trailer to facility can cause an unrestrained truck to begin to roll away from the dock, or create a gap between the bed and the floor.

To prevent trailer creep, all trucks should be restrained before the loading or unloading process begins. A wheel chock system is perhaps the most basic type of truck restraint. This includes curved wedges that fit snugly beside the wheel, keeping it stable while employees work.

One step up is a truck restraint system, and you have several options for these. Models with a rotating hook are activated when a trailer backs up to the dock. The restraint is installed directly beneath the door opening, and a hook swings upward to wrap around the rear impact guard or ICC bar, physically preventing the truck from moving away from the building until the hook is released.

2. Light the way for workers

Sufficient lighting is critical in work environments like warehouses, where people are moving quickly while using large pieces of equipment to move heavy loads of product. One particularly dim area of a facility is often the trailer itself.

Installing dock lights at the loading dock help illuminate trailer interiors so workers can clearly see where they’re going, product labels and the way boxes are arranged inside. Dock lights are typically installed on arms that swing outward, allowing workers to position them for the best result, and so they can move the lights out of the way when they’re not being used.

A standard light will do the trick, though there are multiple options. LED lights will last longer, while heavy-duty, high-impact lights provide ample light and are more impact-resistant.

3. Cool your facility down

Though the temperature of your facility may not come to mind when you think “warehouse safety,” ambient conditions play a big role in a healthy work environment. If temperatures in your warehouse go above 91 degrees, it’s imperative that you take measures to prevent heat illness among your employees, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. This can be done through education, providing protective clothing or gear, and investing in equipment or resources to reduce the heat in your facility.

Warehouse fans are a simple upgrade that can help manage heat and humidity in your warehouse. Dock fans, installed on a swinging arm similarly to dock lights, provide cooling breezes to workers walking or driving into hot trailers and back into the warehouse.

Meanwhile, warehouse ceiling fans, such as high-volume, low-speed models, keep the ambient temperature throughout your warehouse consistent.

4. Minimize the impact of collisions

When you have multiple employees driving fork trucks, operating hand carts or backing trailers up to the loading dock, impacts are always a risk. While proper and continued training can reduce the risk of an impact, it’s also best to be prepared for the possibility that a vehicle will collide with a feature of your warehouse at some point.

Luckily, there are a number of aftermarket warehouse safety products that can minimize the harm of an impact. Steel-faced bumpers installed at your loading dock protect the building face from trailer impact. The steel construction makes these bumpers last longer and withstand greater force than the traditional dock bumper.

Column protectors wrap around the base of your warehouse columns, preventing a misdirected forklift from striking the pillar. Racking protectors are more triangular, encasing the bottom beam and lower portion of the vertical beam of a racking system from a similar impact.

Safety guardrails are more versatile, able to be installed nearly anywhere you need to prevent forklifts or other vehicles from entering. Place these around the perimeter of a mezzanine, around drop-off ledges, near conveyors or surrounding equipment that need extra protection.

Be proactive when investing in warehouse safety. Reach out to Miner for a complimentary consultation and advice on how to improve the conditions in your facility.