Light Communication Systems Increase Warehouse and Loading Dock Safety
Your warehouse and loading dock are at the core of your facility operations, but those areas are also susceptible to various safety hazards and accidents.
It’s estimated by OSHA that 25% of injuries that occur in warehouses or industrial facilities happen at the loading dock. While the majority of warehouse and loading dock injuries are caused by situations like slips and falls, also common and much more serious are forklift accidents and injuries caused by trailer separation and semi activity in the drive approach, as well as heavy equipment and personnel collisions at busy intersections inside the plant.
Addressing loading dock and warehouse safety with the simple addition of a light communication system, however, can help communicate and prevent these loading dock and warehouse safety hazards.
"Stop and Go" Warehouse Safety Lights
Most critical to safety, productivity and accident prevention at the loading dock is communication. In fact, HR Magazine noted that 48% of people surveyed said that confusing direction [and miscommunication] led to an average of 40 minutes of productivity lost per day. The primary objective of a light communication system is to keep operations productive by clearly informing loading dock personnel and truck drivers of a truck’s status. For example, the interior light communication system notifies dock personnel when they can safely enter a properly restrained trailer while the exterior lights communicate when a truck driver can safely depart from the dock position.
Although the universally understood red/stop and green/go lights are a great improvement to loading docks, there are additional advancements in light communication for warehouse and loading docks which can help efficiently reduce dock and facility accidents.
Line-of-Sight Light Communication
The Rite-Vu Hazard Recognition and Light Communication System employs a variety of hazard recognition components, from activity detection with audible alarms to line-of-sight light communication. Rite-Vu includes:
- Approach-Vu™ is a light and horn system which is offered as standalone, or embedded in a vehicle restraint, presents a clear visual and audible alarm to pedestrians out on the dangerous drive approach. Utilizing motion-sensors, the system is activated when a backing trailer is detected helping mitigate potential backover injuries and fatalities.
- Pedestrian-Vu™ helps communicate activity inside a trailer to material handling personnel and pedestrians by emitting a blue light on to the leveler bed. Keeping the blue light in plain sight helps reduce costly collisions between forklifts and pedestrians.
- Corner-Vu™ addresses forklift accident potential by providing immediate dock lock status with light communication to the forklift operator before entering the trailer. The lights are located in the upper corners of the interior loading dock door, providing clear line-of-sight vehicle restraint status without obstruction.
- Leveler-Vu™ communicates vehicle restraint status to a forklift driver as they exit the bed of a semi-truck. The lights are located alongside the edge of the leveler bed, helping to provide clear vehicle restraint status to material handling personnel.
Intersection Traffic Detection
High-traffic, in-plant intersections can be the epicenter for serious collisions. As a blind corner convergence for heavy equipment and personnel, many facility managers are implementing IIoT-enabled traffic sensors to analyze the flow of traffic and improve safety at these types of multi-directional intersections.The use of ceiling-mounted signals, such as the Safe-T-Signal® Warning System, not only present a visual warning, but also document frequency and near miss collisions from oncoming traffic directions. With this data, managers can better understand potentially dangerous congestion patterns and make real-time process adjustments to help limit accidents.
Door Light Communication
Collisions between forklifts and pedestrians are a common type of accident. Collisions between forklifts and doors are even more common and can result in high annual maintenance expenses. Rite-Hite has a series of light communication products to help reduce these types of accidents and minimize the amount of door damages by displaying clear signals to forklift operators that a door is fully open or about to close.
- LED Countdown - displays the status of the door. The adjustable countdown timer displays numbers in white and the adjustable pre-announce timer displays the final numbers in amber. Red arrows display when the door is opening or closing.
- LED Pre-Announce - flashes amber as the pre-announce timer counts down and turns solid red as the door is closing.
- LED Virtual Vision - utilizes motion sensors and LED strips to flash red when there is motion detected on the opposite side of a door.
Communication is Key
In all aspects of life, communication is key. When we’re talking about the safety of your warehouse personnel, however, communication is paramount. Utilizing any of the light communication systems from Rite-Hite will set your operation up for success.
Loading docks and warehouses can be loud, busy and confusing, but with a properly integrated light communication system you can help prevent forklift accidents, pedestrian and material handling equipment collisions and trailer separation accidents.