Warehouses have been experiencing a labor shortage for years, and one of the reasons is the perception that they offer an unsafe working environment. To combat the labor shortage and increase safety, warehouse operations have been implementing safety measures and investing in expensive equipment to automate many processes.
Keeping workers safe and protecting your assets are excellent reasons to consider outfitting your warehouse with barriers. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but it is worthwhile spending some time evaluating your needs. The result could be a workplace that is safer and more efficient. Reach out to a 3PL provider for a personalized safety and loss prevention plan.
Space is precious in most warehouses, so people and machines will sometimes have to occupy the same area. Thoughtful barrier placement can ensure their interactions do not end in injury.
When deciding where to put barriers to direct pedestrians away from heavy machinery and automated vehicle routes, pay special attention to areas where people enter. Any doors that open onto the warehouse floor, such as entrances to a breakroom, washroom, or office, should have guardrails or barriers on at least two sides. This slows the person upon entry to the floor and gives them a moment to look both ways. It also directs their path in a predictable direction, so machine operators are more likely to anticipate their presence.
Even with increased automation, a lot of human work happens on the warehouse floor. Picking, packing, and shipping areas often have people working at desks or on foot. Guardrails or gated barriers should protect workers whenever possible.
Most warehouses still have areas where people must work near forklifts. Although forklift accidents often injure the operator, they more often hurt other workers, pedestrians, and visitors to the facility. Segregating people from forklifts is critical. Erecting barriers or guardrails to designate a pedestrian or forklift zone increases safety. Railings at the end of blind intersections in aisles also could reduce the chance of an accident.
If possible, guardrails should direct forklifts and robots away from areas like the bottom of stairways and mezzanine entrances. A gate or barrier to slow and direct pedestrian traffic is a basic and worthwhile precaution if they must work in these areas.
If your facility has modern conveyors or similar equipment, you need to protect it. Damage from impact could shut down your operation and require you to pay for repairs.
As warehouses invest in smart machines equipped with AI or capable of connecting to the Internet of Things, repairs are no longer a matter for a mechanic. They could require specialized technical knowledge and equipment and come at a significant expense.
Installing barriers around your expensive machinery just makes good sense. It is a cost-efficient and effective way to protect your investment and ensure safety first and always.
There is a lot to consider when outfitting your warehouse with barriers and guardrails. You want to enhance safety but not hinder efficiency. Factors like the weight of your inventory, the temperature of your facility, and the speed that forklifts travel in specific areas all have an impact on the types of barriers you should purchase and where you install them.
A 3PL provider has done these analyses before and could help you implement the processes and install the equipment that will work best in your facility. Consider teaming up with a logistics expert to make your operation as safe and efficient as possible. Contact Brown West Logistics today to get started.