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The simplest loading bay safety solution

12 July 2023

AT VARIOUS exhibitions, specialists present their advanced warehouse safety solutions.

They include collision protection equipment, reversing warning systems, automatic speed limiters, wheel locks, blue or red warning lights, pedestrian and travel lane separation features, automatic lift height limiters and much more. Rite-Hite urges businesses to recognise that people, as well as technologies, are a determining factor in creating a safer working environment.

Training, motivation and even rewards are all ways of getting people involved in a safety improvement process. Whatever technical solutions you adopt, human factors need to be considered too.

In fact, research confirms just how necessary it is to address safety in our industry. It shows that logistics continues to rank as one of the five sectors where most accidents occur. 

It’s also clear that forklift trucks are involved in most warehouse accidents. Inattention, reckless behaviour and incorrect operation are often the cause, but the work environment can present its own hazards. Combine a forklift with a loading dock and we have probably found the riskiest situation of all. Unfortunately, forklift falls from docks are still not a rarity.

Now we’re in summer, there’s a chance that loading bay doors may remain open more often. Especially if the ventilation or climate control inside is ineffective, a cooling breeze can be a reason for many employees to leave that door open just a little longer than necessary. This is the kind of human decision and action we highlighted earlier.

With that in mind, sometimes it’s necessary to give the simple solutions a chance first.

Flexible safety barriers

Simple and manageable is definitely a good description of the Dok-Guardian, Rite-Hite's temporary safety barrier. Simple because this solution makes it easy – and safe –to keep the doors open longer to take advantage of that nice breeze. Manageable because it hardly takes any effort to open and close the barrier. 

It works just like the familiar check-in barriers at an airport. The barrier features a strong but flexible 1120 mm high fibreglass net curtain, coloured bright red and PVC coated, with three bright yellow heavy-duty webbing straps. This is rolled up on one side, in one of the yellow protective columns, and is pulled across to hook onto the other column. The barrier can be drawn in front of the loading dock and quickly retracted when access is needed.

We hear you thinking: is such a net strong enough? Well, the curtain has been proven to withstand collisions with impacts of up to 13,636 kg. In almost all cases, this is sufficient to prevent forklift trucks from falling off the loading dock.

The Dok-Guardian can close openings up to 5000 mm wide. If desired, it can also be integrated into a more comprehensive safety system with warning lights and interlocking, for example.

Find out more at www.ritehite.com