Sunday, December 28, 2014

Warehouse Safety - 5 Important Things To Keep In Mind

Warehouse safety should always be the number one concern of any employer. Warehouses can present a myriad of dangers to employees that should be confronted and resolved whenever they are found. If you would like to improve your workplace environment to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries, there are a number of things you as an employer can do. Take a few moments to review 5 important aspects of improving warehouse safety that everyone should know.

1. Provide Employee Training on Safe Lifting Practices

All employees should be provided with proper training regarding how to safely lift heavy materials without causing personal injuries. Lift materials with the legs and avoid twisting the upper body when carrying a load. If a pallet or box is too heavy, encourage workers to use a forklift or ask for assistance from co-workers. To reduce the risk of back injury caused by lifting altogether, it is best to arrange inventory in such a way that it does not require considerable effort to lift and remove items.

2. Invest in Anti-Slip Industrial Floor Mats

Anti-Slip industrial floor mats can prevent a number of accidents from happening in a warehouse environment. Not only will these mats work to alleviate slips if water or wet materials come in contact with the floor, but the comfortable ergonomics of these mats will make it much more comfortable for employees to work on their feet for extended periods of time. The amount of stress that constant walking, lifting and standing can do to the feel in a warehouse can become very painful for many. Reducing this stress and fatigue in any way will go a long way to minimize the chances of a serious injury occurring.

3. Ensure Adequate Lighting is Provided at All Times

Naturally, it is vital that all employees have plenty of light to perform their work efficiently and avoid making errors in the workplace. Always replace lights that have fizzled out immediately and consider investing in halogen bulbs for longer live span than incandescent bulbs.

4. Keep Aisles Clean and Free of Obstructions

Any trash, spills or debris in the aisles of the warehouse should be cleaned up right away. Trash and other materials can easily pose a safety hazard for anyone walking by or operating machinery. Make it a point to perform clean-up several times during every shift to ensure there are no obstacles that could potentially cause an injury of an employee.

5. Use Best Safety Practices When Operating Forklifts and Machinery

Forklifts and other forms of warehouse machinery should always be operated with extreme care. Only fully qualified and certified professionals should be given permission to operate with forklifts. Seatbelts should always be worn in forklifts should never travel in excess of 5 miles per hour. Any damaged forklifts should be kept off limits until repairs can be done and the batteries should always be fully charged before the beginning of each work day. Forklift drivers should also be fully trained on the dangers of carbon monoxide fumes and the warehouse should be well ventilated to improve indoor air quality for all employees. Any individuals who do not abide by all warehouse machinery safety regulations should be reprimanded to discourage breaches in workplace safety protocols from occurring in the future.

By incorporating warehouse safety practices like these at your place of business you can drastically reduce the chances that an injury or accident will happen. Take the time to invest in preventative countermeasures  like these and ongoing training for employees to make your warehouse a much more comfortable, safer work environment for everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2014

What To Do If Your Automatic Garage Door Won't Close

If your automatic garage door will not close, checking for a few of the most common problems may solve your problem in a matter of minutes. However, automatic garage door openers, like any piece of machinery, do wear out, and occasionally need to be replaced. A do-it-yourself minded homeowner may be able to complete the necessary repairs, but for many busy folks, hiring a professional to save time and hassle is the way to go.

These Simple Corrections May Quickly Correct a Troublesome Garage Door

Any time your garage door will not close normally, work through the following checklist:

Verify that the photo eyes, located at the bottom of each side of your door, are not blocked. Due to safety regulations, all newer garage doors are equipped with these "electronic eyes" which must be able to "see" one another to allow the garage door to close. Check to make sure that nothing is located at ground level where the door rests while closed, and remove anything which may be hanging from the door itself.

If one or both of the photo eye sensors is not lit up or is blinking, try adjusting the knob(s) or push against the metal bracket(s) that holds the eye in place to adjust the eyes so that they are directly pointing at one another. If the light(s) stop blinking and/or come back on, chances are you have solved the problem and your door will operate normally.

Clean the sensor lenses with a cloth, as dust, spider webs, paint, etc. can prevent the eyes from making contact.

Try holding down the wall button until your door is fully closed. If the door will close using this method, chances are one of your sensors needs replacement.

If your garage door goes down but will not stay closed, you may need to readjust the "limits" that tell the opener when to stop lowering the door. Some models allow you to adjust the limits by simply turning a screw; follow any instructions provided in your owner's manual or written on the device itself to determine which direction adjusts the door up, then gradually make corrections until the weatherstripping on the bottom of the door is in contact with the ground (but the door itself is not). Once the correct limit is reached, your garage door should stay shut unless another issue is present.

In cases where the door will not move at all, listen for a grinding sound while you operate the controls. Grinding can indicate the need to replace the gear inside the opener component. If you'd like to attempt this replacement yourself, carefully follow instructions provided in your owner's manual, or contact a professional.

Know When to Contact a Professional

Sometimes homeowners are able to correct a problematic garage door only to find that the same issue returns shortly thereafter. In particular, if you were able to correct the limits on your garage door but the same problem of the door not remaining shut quickly returns, you may have a more serious issue warranting the help of a professional garage door repairman.

If you have gone through the above checklist without success, a call to R&S at 925-671-7606 can save you a tremendous amount of time and hassle. We've got friendly staff that will answer your questions and provide you information in regards to all available options.

Monday, December 8, 2014

5 Common Loading Dock Injuries and How to Avoid Them

If there is one area worth watching yourself in a warehouse, it's the loading dock. Around 25% of warehouse injuries occur in the loading dock, a figure that may not seem surprising if you have spent time in a warehouse. The loading dock is fast-paced, very busy and the people working there are often running behind. There is simply too much to do, in too little time. All of this creates the perfect environment for injury.

5 Loading Dock Injuries That Are Preventable

Fortunately, loading dock injuries can be avoided with a little forethought and commitment to safety standards. Consider the following injuries, and what can be done to prevent them:

1.    Injury from falling trailer loads – Trailer loads can shift even on short hauls. When you open the trailer door, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise. All it takes is a broken pallet or a top heavy load that shifted during transit to make opening the door dangerous. While falling loads will happen, you can avoid having them fall on you through simple precautions. Be careful when opening any trailer door, and be ready to step back if you sense a fall.

2.    Back injuries – Loading dock workers lift and strain all day, a perfect recipe for a back injury. This becomes even more of a risk when you are in a hurry, and fail to use proper lifting technique. Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to prevent back injuries.

First, workers should be taught how to lift – bend at the knees, avoid twisting with a load, use your legs. Second, the company should invest in any safety or assisting equipment that is appropriate for the tasks. Weight belts can help avoid strain, and things like pallet positioners – which assist in lifting and shifting pallets for loading or unloading – can greatly diminish back injuries. Third, workers should be encouraged to prioritize safe lifting over meeting time commitments. It is better for the job to take a little longer than risk injury.

3.    Getting crushed by a truck – Trucks are back into the loading dock all day, and if the right safety precautions are not in place, it is very easy for a worker to get crushed between the truck and the dock. To avoid this, trucks should be turned off, the tires chocked and the driver out of the vehicle – anytime a worker must between the dock and the truck. This may seem tedious when something needs to be done quickly, but it is the most fool-proof method of saving lives from this kind of deadly accident.

4.    Getting hit by a forklift – The only thing that moves in and out of the dock more quickly than the dock workers is the forklift driver. These little machines make all that lifting and stacking possible. But they also prose a hazard to anyone in their vicinity. It takes concentration to fork a load properly, and to get that load across the warehouse or the dock. Drivers are often unaware of others because of this. Drivers must be trained to avoid accidents, and all available safety equipment should be employed – including convex mirrors, rear-view mirrors and backing alarms.

5.    Injuries from improperly stacked loads – A load can be just as dangerous in the dock as in the trailer. Falling loads can injure or kill workers. This can be avoided through proper stacking technique. Workers should know not to stack heavy items on top of lighter items, or big loads on top of small loads. Shrink wrap can also help increase stability.