How Warehouse Safety Equipment Keeps People and Inventory Safe

Warehouse Safety Equipment

Warehouse Safety Equipment

At DAK Equipment and Engineering, we supply the Midwest with the best and most efficient pallet rack systems available. That means finding the perfect pallet rack system that will fit the warehouse at hand and the needs of a particular business. That means making a warehouse strategy plan, delivering the right industrial pallet racks, and assembling them so that they hold up to daily use.

If pallets racks could be filled with inventory and then the warehouse sealed up, there wouldn’t be nearly the need for warehouse safety equipment. But in actuality, warehouses can be a very busy place where both workers and inventory must be protected at all times. That’s why it’s so important to invest in warehouse safety equipment. Let’s take a look at how DAK Equipment and Engineering can make your warehouse a better place to work.

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Why Make Your Warehouse Safe?

First, let’s answer a simple question: why make your warehouse safe? It might seem like a strange question, but there are many reasons to do everything you can to invest in warehouse safety equipment and make it as safe as possible for anyone who happens to be there. These reasons range from moral to practical, so let’s take a look at why you should do what you can to improve the safety in your space.

Protect Employees

The primary reason you invest in warehouse safety equipment and infrastructure is to protect your employees. It’s simply the right thing to do to protect human lives, and our safety gear is there to do just that.

Protect Your Efficiency

The good part about protecting employees is that you’re also improving the way your business works. When you keep your experienced employees safe from warehouse dangers, you don’t have to make do with inexperienced workers you’d hire as a replacement. You’ll also avoid paying overtime to other employees to make up for the employee who was injured.

Avoid Legal Problems

When there’s an injury in a warehouse, it’s important to show that you did everything within reason to have avoided that injury in the first place. If you can prove that you took action to prevent employee injury, your chances of avoiding a lawsuit or OSHA fines are reduced dramatically. Implementing safety measures throughout your warehouse can establish a clear track record of doing everything you can to protect workers.

Get Better Insurance Rates

While they’re always trying to sell you more insurance, insurance companies are also looking for ways that they can reduce their potential payouts. That’s where safety comes in; if you can show them that you’re actively working to reduce injuries and inventory loss, you can use that as a bargaining chip to reduce your rates. In some cases, purchasing safety equipment can even pay for itself thanks to the reduced insurance costs.

Protect Your Inventory

Not all warehouse safety equipment is for the safety of the employees. You’re running a business, and therefore can’t accept regular inventory loss. Getting the right protection in your warehouse, whether it’s protecting an entire pallet racking system with bumper guards or putting up netting to prevent toppling, simply prevents you from losing inventory.

Protect Your Investments

One of our primary specialties at DAK Equipment and Engineering is our warehouse optimization and pallet rack installation. We know that the industrial shelves that we sell to our clients will be in use for decades, and they represent a big investment. When you invest in warehouse safety equipment, you’re protecting an important part of your business that helps keeps you running efficiently. And that’s a great segue to the next topic: protecting your pallet rack system.

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Pallet Rack Protection

While we have great prices on industrial pallet racks, they’re not exactly cheap. And they’re certainly not disposable! When you invest in a pallet rack system, you want to protect it as much as possible so that it will last for decades.

If your warehouse is one that is using forklifts, it’s not a matter of if one will hit your pallet racks, but when. If the rack doesn’t collapse immediately (damaging inventory and perhaps even injuring employees), then you have to worry about it collapsing in the future. Sure, we can repair and/or replace damaged sections, but that’s costing you time and money that could have been prevented with simple pallet rack protection. DAK Equipment and Engineering offers a variety of products that can protect your pallet racks.

End-of-Aisle Rack Protectors

The busiest location in a warehouse is usually the space at the end of each aisle where forklifts are constantly driving past on their way to find a particular pallet. No matter how good your drivers are, they will eventually run into the rack system and damage it. If you don’t believe us, just visit any warehouse in the world and inspect the racks at the end of the aisle!  One solution includes the use of bollards to deflect the lifts, but permanent poles placed in the concrete can create a problem when you want to replace the pallet racks or configure the warehouse differently.

Whether you’re ordering new industrial shelves from us or are retrofitting existing units, make sure you order important pieces of warehouse safety equipment such as end-of-aisle rack protectors. These bumpers are designed to protect the racks at the area in which they’re most likely to encounter errant forklifts and other warehouse equipment. Once you see one protect the pallet rack from damage — and you will — you’ll be glad you invested in them.

In-Aisle Column Protection

The storage racking at the end of the aisle is going to be in the most danger, but it’s also important to protect the racks down the row as well. After all, there’s often less space in a row than at the end of each aisle, meaning that the forklifts will need to be even more careful when making sharp turns.

The selection process on in-aisle protection is much more involved than you might think. We actually help you choose the protection you need based on the particular type of forklifts you’re currently using. When we know the height of a particular model, we can put the protection exactly where it is needed to do the most good.

Warehouse Safety Netting and Wire Mesh

While it’s certainly important to protect your inventory, pallet safety netting is especially important when it comes to protecting your workers. Without netting or wire mesh stops, the typical inventory loss tends to be just a couple of pallets. But anyone standing under those pallets when they fall is going to get seriously injured or even killed.

We can install safety netting or wire mesh so that the pallets on your industrial shelving don’t move, whether they’re bumped by forklifts or slide over time due to a building settling. And if the pallet ever does come crashing down due to something big like an earthquake, the damage can be contained behind the netting. This means less scatter when the pallet hits, protecting employees from flying projectiles.

If you think that installing safety netting isn’t necessary and it could slow things down, be sure to talk to us about it. You might be surprised at what you learn about their importance; you might even able to convince your insurance company to give you a better deal because of this added warehouse safety equipment! Click here to read up on warehouse safety netting and the many factors that can make them a necessity,

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Sprinkler Protection

A sprinkler going off isn’t going to endanger any of your employees, but it might just ruin inventory. Forklifts often damage sprinkler system heads, usually because operator’s line-of-site is blocked by whatever is on the pallet. Sometimes drivers hit sprinkler heads directly, but it’s more likely they’ll hit them with a pallet full of merchandise.

Hitting one sprinkler head might not sound like such a big deal, but what if it triggers the rest of the sprinkler system? Each sprinkler head can dispense up to 30 gallons of water a minute. By the time you get to an emergency off switch, untold thousands of dollars in inventory could be wet…and possibly ruined. (If you inventory consists entirely of kiddy pools, feel free to ignore this advice!)

The solution we offer is sprinkler guards to protect against this errant forklift damage. These cages can protect the sprinkler heads so that you can avoid the huge problems created by a small mistake. To learn more about sprinkler guards and how they are installed, click here.

Sprinkler Guards


 

Dock Defense

While DAK often focuses on pallet rack systems and industrial conveyor systems, we’re dedicated to improving the safety of the entire warehouse. One area that often goes overlooked are the loading docks; there’s so much movement around them that it can feel like a hindrance to make them safer. But the injuries that can take place at a dock can be substantial and expensive, which is why you should make sure to make the dock as safe as possible with additional warehouse safety equipment. Let’s take a look at how we can help.

Loading Dock Gates To Prevent Falls

The height of a loading dock is usually determined by the most common trucks that use it. Having a dock above the ground means level access for the trucks and does away with a great deal of effort to roll inventory up and down ramps.

Unfortunately, this time and energy saver also means that it can be a major fall hazard. And we’re not just talking about major falls that lead to long hospital stays; an employee who stumbles and still lands on their feet can come away with a twisted ankle, time off work, and increased insurance costs (as well as a possible OSHA visit). New workers might not think as they open doors and head out without looking, and even someone who has worked in the warehouse for years can trip and fall off the edge.

What can be done? Gates are a simple solution to the problem to prevent workers from falling off the edge of a loading dock. While employees might at first complain that it’s just “one more thing to do” when unloading, it’s going to be worth it if it stops even one fall.

Loading Dock Gates To Stop Vehicles

While forklift fails might be fun to watch on YouTube, they can be very serious and even deadly. After all, you never see the injuries that occur, the employee losing their job, or the mound of insurance paperwork that has to be filled out after the video ends.

One of the most common types of forklift accidents that occurs is when a forklift falls off a loading dock. Sure, some end up falling forward-first onto their forks, but even more often they will fall off the loading dock backward, sideways, or at an angle…all of which are more dangerous than going off forward.

We have loading dock gates that are strong enough to prevent all of that from happening. These super-strong gates can prevent trucks and other warehouse vehicles from falling off the loading dock. Even better, simply tapping the gate lightly will make most drivers hit the brakes before they go any further and test the gate’s full strength.

Access Ladders

There are many reasons that people want to get up on the roof of a warehouse. Some are trying to avoid work, others want to sneak a beers, and some people just like tossing stuff off the side to see it break below. All of these are very good reasons to invest in a ladder gate!

The simple fact is, there aren’t many people who should be up on the roof of your warehouse. Having a ladder gate is an excellent way to ensure that only people with an expressed purpose should be up there, whether it’s to check on a roof leak or to service the HVAC unit. Keep everyone else off the roof with a ladder gate.

Ramps

There can be many different types of ramps into a warehouse or other building on your property. Some of these might be to assist in loading and unloading. Others could be to comply with ADA rules. Unfortunately, both of these can create the opportunity for falls if they’re lacking handrails.

We can help you make those areas safer with our selection of handrails. Surface-mounted handrails not only prevent people from falling off of an area, but their mere presence alerts someone to the possible fall danger. While someone might not see the edge of a concrete ramp when there is the same-colored concrete beyond it, they will see that delineation when a railing is present.

Overhead Door Track Guards

We don’t have to tell you that garage doors are expensive, and yet they can be some of the most fragile pieces of equipment in a warehouse. Just hitting the tracks relatively lightly can cause them to be completely useless. If it’s in the down position when this happens, that particular loading dock is unusable until you can get it fixed. If it’s up when it happens, your warehouse is exposed to the elements and open to thieves.

Luckily, there’s a solution that prevents many hits to your warehouse loading dock doors. Track guards are bolted into the concrete on either side of an overhead door, preventing many of the situations that could cause them to become damaged. While track guards can’t prevent every hit that comes in from the side, they are good at stopping about 90-percent of the damage that can come from head-on.

Clearance Bars

Not every vehicle is made to go through every door. But that doesn’t stop some employees from trying!

Clearance bars, sometimes known as banger bars, are there to give a vehicle operator a friendly reminder of the height of a vehicle before they slam into the top of a garage door. If they hit the clearance bar, they’re sure to hit the garage door, and that could cause thousands of dollars in damage.

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Elevated Work Platform Safety

We have installed a variety of elevated work platforms throughout the Midwest, whether they are mezzanines, pick modules, or elevated docks. We know that being in such situations can put workers in serious danger, which is why proper railing can be an incredibly important warehouse safety equipment.

Whether you are putting in new or used pallet racks, mezzanine, or pick modules, we can install the proper rails and gates so that you’re compliant with ANSI MH28.3-2009 Standard (reference Section 6.4.3). Even if you have traditional swing, lift, slide, or tilt gates, you should probably contact us if they’re not the new (and safer) pivot or double-drop gates.

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Guard Rails

When most people think about guard rails, they often think about a rail that separates one level from another. Is there a sudden drop? Put up a guardrail.

But when it comes to warehouse safety equipment, guardrails are often used to protect a particular space on a horizontal surface (usually the warehouse floor itself). A warehouse floor is a busy place, and it’s important to delineate where it’s safest for pedestrians to work so that they stay out of the way of forklifts and other moving equipment. While OSHA says that tape is enough to separate the pedestrians from the vehicles, we believe that this is one rule in which OSHA is too lax.

Guardrails are the perfect solution when it comes to separating pedestrian traffic from moving machinery. Depending on the rails you choose, they’ll be able to stop anything from a lateral load of 200 pounds all the way up to a 4 mph, 13,000-pound impact! Guardrails can save lives of employees, potential partners, and guests; keep those pedestrians safe!

Guardrail Safety


 

Choosing Your Warehouse Safety Equipment

There are hundreds of different kinds of warehouse safety equipment, just a few of which have been mentioned today. Not every warehouse needs the same equipment, and some equipment is definitely more important than others. How do you choose?

Let us help you. We have eight project managers who have outfitted dozens of warehouses with the best safety equipment available. After taking a look at your needs, we can suggest what would work best in your warehouse and how to make it as safe as possible for everyone working there. Just click here to find the project manager for your particular area of Chicago or Wisconsin.

Make Your Warehouse As Safe As Possible

 
 

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