Warehouse Hazards Reduced by Machine Guarding Systems

Utilization of machinery and robotics in your facility allows for scalable efficiency that manual labor simply can't replicate. However, the process can create hazards in addition to when maintenance is performed by operators.  In this post, we will walk through common warehouse hazards and how implementation of machine guarding systems can greatly reduce these risks.

Warehouse Hazards Reduced by Machine Guarding Systems

For many of us, our warehouse operations and goals wouldn’t be tenable without the use of machines and robotics. These allow a scalable efficiency that manual labor simply can’t replicate. There are two sides, however, to utilizing machinery in your processes. As your machines are in production, the process can create hazards in addition to when maintenance is performed by operators.

These hazards, albeit dangerous at times, are common and can be greatly reduced by the use of OSHA mandated machine guarding systems. After all, if you don’t emphasize safety in your facility, you’re setting yourself up for downtime to deal with injuries and all the reporting and investigating that ties into on-site injuries. With this hurdle, the efficiency and productivity you strive for can’t be met.

In this post, we will walk through common warehouse hazards and how implementation of machine guarding systems can greatly reduce these risks so that safety can work together with efficiency.

Application Driven Hazards

Also referred to as process driven hazards, these are the result of your normal machine operations.
Depending on its function, different types of hazards are expelled from your machines and must be addressed. For instance, if you have machinery that cuts metal, the process will result in sparks flying. These sparks are a hazard to personnel—and potentially create a fire hazard for your facility. With this hazard, machine guards should be implemented to reduce the risk of injury or damage. 
Common application driven hazards you may find in your warehouse or industrial facility include:
  • Airborne debris
  • Heat
  • Fumes
  • Smoke
  • Sparks
  • Accidental discharge
  • Spray/Mist/Fluids
  • Mechanical movement

Human Driven Hazards

In addition to application driven hazards, another warehouse hazard that needs to be addressed is human driven. 
Your workers aren’t robots, and you can’t program their every move. Workers can get tired, and if they need to perform maintenance on a machine in this state it can be troublesome.

Common human driven hazards you may find in your warehouse or industrial facility include:
  • Operator fatigue
  • Improper training
  • Pedestrians/personnel entering dangerous work stations 

How to Reduce Hazards with Machine Guarding Systems

While there are a variety of machine guarding systems, the goal is often the same—guarding your machinery and personnel through physical separation. Similarly, the applications for machine guarding systems can also vary, but there is a core group that remain consistent through most system types:

  • Robotic welding/fixed automation
  • Production lines
  • Machine centers
  • Robotic machine tending applications
  • Cutting systems
  • Environmental separation
  • Clean room applications
  • CNC routers
  • Anywhere human/machine interface exists

Each of these applications should be looked at individually, but with Rite-Hite’s variety of machine guarding systems, you’ll have the flexibility to find the right fit for your operational needs.

Learn More About how Machine Guarding Systems Can Reduce Risk In Your Facility


Automated Barrier Doors

Also known as industrial safety doors, automated barrier doors protect both personnel and facility operations by restricting access while containing the manufacturing processes. With the option to completely automate your processes, the risk of human error due to fatigue is reduced since the need to be hands-on is largely eliminated. 

In addition, automated barrier doors address process driven hazards by containing your operations. 

Products like Rite-Hite’s Defender™ Automated Machine Guarding Door even include fully-sealed barrier tabs that prevent access to hazards by acting as a barrier while adhering to regulations for distance and machinery position in respect to human interaction.


 

As a result, automated barrier doors are often used in the machining, heavy manufacturing and automotive industries. 

Automated Curtains

Similar to industrial safety doors, safety curtains are designed for applications where separation is needed for a safe environment. 

Rite-Hite’s SlideAir Automated Safety Curtains, for example, are manufactured with a soft curtain design to protect personnel and property while allowing for automated processes, reducing risk of error from operator fatigue. The customizable sizes are made to fit your exact requirements, and its pleated curtain design allows you to save room in space-restricted facilities. 

Retractable Curtains and Screens

Where conventional industrial screens fall short, industrial retractable curtains provide the safety, flexibility and unobstructed access you need in even the harshest of warehouse environments. 

If your facility operations require adaptation to changing layouts for work cells and processes, a solution can be found in roll-up/roll-down safety curtains, like Rite-Hite’s RollShield. A combination of a safety and weld curtain with a retraction device, the RollShield will allow unobstructed overhead access while protecting workers from UV light, heat and flying debris, among other hazards. 

Laser Curtains and Screens

Created to fit with the Defender or Guardian Automated Barrier Doors or as its own curtain or screen, Rite-Hite has addressed hazards from industrial laser applications with its LAZE BLOK Laser Curtains and Screens

Laser radiation escaping your facility’s laser-controlled area can be extremely hazardous to workers, but implementing this product will increase safety and eliminate the need for PPE outside the area by blocking all wavelengths between 180 and 10600nm. With black and white colored material that is CE marked and certified to EN60825-4 specifications, you can rest assured that laser radiation is contained to its specified zone. 

Safety Fencing

In addition to the protection from warehouse hazards provided by barrier doors, curtains and screen machine guarding systems, there is also the budget-conscious option of industrial safety fencing

Preventing entry into hazardous work areas, industrial safety fencing like Rite-Hite’s RoboGuard is a low-cost machine guarding solution for welding areas, welded wire enclosures on the plant floor, wire mesh partitions for storage, robot safety fencing, welded wire mesh enclosures and conveyor perimeter guarding.

Its flexible design can be combined with Rite-Hite Machine Guarding's Saf-T-Vu fabric to protect against hazardous weld flash/spark/smoke and flying debris associated with robotic welding allows.

In addition, it’s made for ease in relocation and retrofitting while meeting requirements, including OSHA 1910 Subpart O, RIA 15.06-1999 American National Standard for industrial robots and Robot Systems and CSA Z434-03.The hazards that result from your warehouse operations and machinery are real, and they are not to be discounted or ignored. 

Your processes can only be safe and efficient with the proper tools for hazard reduction, and machine guarding systems are a huge step to achieving that objective. Without safety, there is no efficiency.

Machine guarding systems allow for both.

Protect Your Workers and Increase Productivity with Machine Guards by Contacting Us Today!

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