Canadian winters can produce some very extreme conditions. Between the cold, the snow, the wind and the freezing rain, the weather can put a serious strain on workplace productivity if it’s not managed properly.
Because of these adverse conditions, facility managers who oversee large, high-traffic facilities should be taking the proper steps to ensure workplace winterization. Preparing your facility for winter is not only crucial for safety purposes, it can also lead to energy savings and increased operational efficiency. Here are five products that will help to prepare your facility for winter.
1. Truck Restraints
Loading docks are hazardous even in the most benign conditions. They are fluid, high-traffic areas that feature moving forklifts, crowded staging areas, sheer drops, and slopes. When you factor in ice, snow and cold temperatures, the potential for accidents only increases. Another common incident is trailer creep, where improperly secured trailers roll away from loading docks unexpectedly.
Truck Restraints are an excellent way to prevent trailer creep and other loading dock accidents during slippery and icy conditions. They work by holding the truck’s rear-impact guard in place during loading and unloading procedures. With the trailer firmly locked in place, forklift drivers and other employees can carry out their duties knowing that the trailer will not move or shift. Truck Restraints can contribute to safer loading and unloading procedures for all employees throughout the year, but especially during the winter months.
2. Dock Seals
Loading dock areas are heavily exposed to the elements without proper protection. Heavy snow, freezing rain and cold, strong winds are very common at this time of year. The last thing that any facility manager or employee wants is for these elements to enter the facility through exposed gaps around loading dock doors. Not only does the cold air make for uncomfortable working conditions, any snow or ice that makes its way inside can result in dangerous, slippery areas.
Investing in a Dock Seal can help better protect your loading dock area by blocking wind snow and ice from infiltrating your facility. They also help improve energy efficiency by containing the warm air generated internally and keeping cold air outside. If your facility is effective at blocking out external conditions, it will make for more efficient energy use over time. For added protection from the elements, Lenworth offers dock seals with adjustable head curtains that accommodate different trailer sizes. This means they can adjust to varying heights and still effectively seal off gaps when the dock door is open.
3. HVLS Fans
Effective, controllable internal air distribution is crucial during the winter months. It can help conserve energy usage and provide more comfortable internal conditions for employees and patrons when the cold weather is raging outside.
High-Volume Low-Speed (HVLS) Fans are specifically engineered to help properly destratify air in large spaces. They make a significant difference in a facility’s ability to distribute warm air without overpaying on heating bills. During the winter, HVLS fans effectively re-distribute warm air trapped at the ceiling, down to the floor level. These large fans work with HVAC systems, supplementing and effectively moving the air they generate in order to reduce wasted energy.
4. Electric Operators
One of the best ways that facilities can improve internal working conditions during the winter months is by reducing the cycle time of loading dock doors. The longer these doors stay open during a cycle, the more cold air can infiltrate the facility. Not only does this expose work areas to winter conditions, it also contributes heavily to energy loss.
Electric Operators are an effective solution to the problem of doors with slow opening and closing speeds. By installing an Electric Operator, not only are you automating your overhead doors for more convenience, you are also reducing the cycle time. This decreased cycle time will go a long way towards protecting your facility from the winter weather. It will also help reduce energy costs over time.
5. Pass Doors (With Bottom Sweeps)
A properly installed Industrial Pass Door can assist in keeping your facility secure, safe from the elements and help mitigate energy loss. Lenworth models come standard in a 20ga design, but they can also be customized to fit your facility requirements. They feature tack welded seams to ensure long-term rigidity and stability throughout all weather conditions.
For further protection from the elements and against energy loss, bottom sweeps should be added to all industrial pass doors. Bottom sweeps prevent snow and water from seeping into the facility, creating a potential slipping hazard. In addition to the safety concerns, the added sealing effect at the bottom of the door will help contain warm air generated from the facility.
Lenworth Can Help Prepare Your Facility For Winter
If you are unsure what steps you should take to winterize your facility, or where to start, Lenworth is happy to help. We offer free, no-hassle consultations to answer any questions, address potential problem areas and help you determine the steps you can take to winterize your facility effectively.
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