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September 25, 2017


PVC Roll Can Help Lessen the Risks in your Loading Bay

Our years of supplying PVC roll have shown us that loading bays are one of the riskiest places in warehouses. This comes as no surprise when you consider it is one of the main places in a warehouse where both pedestrians and vehicles need to access.  Research has shown that one in four workplace transport accidents happen in loading bays, and these accidents can be devastating to workers. The even more devastating thing is that many of these accidents could have been avoided through simple procedural and structural changes to your site.

Assess the Risks

As a warehouse owner, it is your responsibility to minimise as many workplace risks as possible. Doing a risk assessment, yourself means that not only can you identify the risks but can start thinking about sensible measures to minimise them. One easy way to do this is to do a traffic analysis of your loading bay, keeping track of how vehicles and pedestrians are using the area. You could do this in person, which can be time-consuming or another option is to use video footage. From this, you can determine both current practices and also identify any potential issues.

Who or What?

Research that has been done in the past has shown that 57% of all serious injuries that occur in warehouses occur to pedestrians. This is an important statistic to keep in mind whatever your role in the warehouse is. It can also help you to decide on what areas of safety you need to improve.

Segregation

The easiest way to improve health and safety within a loading bay environment is to segregate pedestrians and fork lift trucks. This can be done in lots of different ways, depending on your budget, including:

  • Implementing a one-way system which will reduce the need for vehicles to reverse
  • Installing elevated walkways to ensure pedestrians are kept well out of the way of vehicles.
  • Installing a light system on doorways or trucks so that pedestrians are well aware when vehicles are entering the area
  • Installing proximity alarms on vehicles so that they alert the driver if they get too close to pedestrians or other vehicles
  • Installing waiting areas or pens for vehicle drivers during the loading/unloading process to separate the vehicles from people
  • Installing PVC strip curtains to act as separators for pedestrian and vehicle traffic
  • Roll curtains that are see-through yet durable, so that pedestrians and vehicles have a clear view of anyone or anything coming the other way
  • Using paint or raised kerbs to mark out separate paths of pedestrians and vehicles on the floor of the loading area 

A quick way for managers to improve the safety aspects of a loading bay is to introduce such standard practices as:

  • Excluding pedestrians from the loading bay area as much as is possible
  • Enforcing a strict speed limit for any vehicle working near pedestrians
  • Prohibiting the use of mobile phones within the loading bay environment
  • Regular safety awareness training courses for all employees on site
  • Using a supervisor to oversee and direct vehicle and pedestrian movement

Whatever changes you decide to make, keep in mind that it is vital that you restrict the areas where vehicles and pedestrians could meet to as few as possible, and stick to these areas consistently. Doing this will install a message of safety comes first and constantly reinforce this message. Every warehouse loading bay is unique and so likely to present employers with a different set of potential hazards and risks. However, a well-designed and maintained loading bay with a clear definition of vehicle roads and pedestrian pathways, that is well policed by supervisors, will make a significant difference to the safety of your warehouse operations. 

If you require more information about our plastic strip curtain offerings, including installation and maintenance, then please give us a call on 0333 999 7171 or email us directly at sales@stripcurtainsdirect.co.uk.