Worker Safety in Manufacturing and Warehousing Operations
October 05, 2020
For commercial manufacturing and warehousing operations, worker safety has always been a high priority. With the coronavirus pandemic, it has become even more important. High-speed doors are critical to helping these facilities maintain safe and sanitary environments, especially during this time.
Here’s how they help to ensure that ‘Safety Is Job One’:
Hands-free operation: Hands-free activation of doors is essential to ensure worker health and overall plant safety during the current pandemic conditions. Today’s high-speed doors are equipped with proximity sensors and other devices to detect the presence of people, forklifts and other equipment. They signal the door to open and close.
That means equipment operators don’t have to take their hands off of controls or get off of their machines to manually actuate the doors. This minimizes the amount of time the doors are open and helps these facilities to maintain safe operations. In addition, unnecessary touching of buttons, faceplates or other access components reduces the physical spread of germs and viruses, further ensuring staff health and safety.
Advanced Safety Features
Modern high-speed doors offer multiple safety features that keep forklift operators and other personnel safe around them:
Soft bottom edge: Doors equipped with this feature can easily flex around obstructions, virtually eliminating entrapment concerns.
Reversing bottom edge: When sensors located along the bottom edge of the door sense an obstruction, the door will automatically reverse.
Light curtain safety system: This safety system continuously monitors not only the door opening but the areas adjacent to it for any potential obstructions. The sensitivity of these systems can be customized for different locations and applications.
Safety light systems: These are designed to provide increased safety and warning in the door threshold. They detect if a person or other obstruction is blocking the door’s path and prevent it from closing. Other safety light systems provide visual indicators near the door – such as a flashing amber light or flashing red strips projected onto the floor across the threshold – that warn nearby workers that the door panel is about to move.
Manual open option: Some high-speed doors can be equipped with a manual pull option so workers can still open them in the event of a power loss.
Minimal opportunities for collisions between doors and material-handling vehicles: Material-handling vehicles rarely catch up with high-speed doors. If they do collide, certain models have a quick reset feature to put the door back in service quickly, minimizing downtime.
Maintaining sanitary conditions: Food processing and warehousing facilities must follow stringent requirements for cleanliness in all aspects of their operations. In addition, pharmaceutical production facilities need doors that can maintain tight seals and minimize air infiltration due to pressure differentials. Today’s high-speed doors open and close quickly, minimizing the chances of contamination.
The doors used in these types of applications should incorporate stainless steel hoods (left image) and frames that are easy to clean and sanitize. They should also be designed to minimize sites where bacteria and other impurities can grow. In addition – specific to food processing - doors need to prevent liquid contaminants from dripping into the traffic pathway. Each of these features help increase safety and productivity.
It's time to upgrade the safety of your doors
If your manufacturing, distribution or warehousing facilities still use older sectional doors or slow, maintenance-prone panel doors, it’s time for a safety and efficiency upgrade. Contact us today to discuss your needs.