No one knows a harsh and austere winter like Canadians in the Great White North. The sharp winter air and dangerous slippery surfaces can pose as a hazard for workers and operators at large-scale facilities. It’s important to take safety precautions year-round but especially crucial during winter months. Survey your facility for the following seven things to ensure you’re winter-ready and safe for the season.
1. Truck Restraints
The loading dock is easily one of the most hazardous areas of an operational facility. The volume of activity that occurs in this zone can lead to risks such as: dangers for the lift truck operator, ramps and inclines, wet or slippery surfaces, overhead obstructions, congested staging areas, sheer drops, etc. One of the most common and dangerous occurrences is trailer creep.
Winter time can often mean strong winds and heavy snow. When operating a facility, cold air and blizzard conditions are the last thing you want coming through your dock doors. Not only is cold air uncomfortable for workers, it can also present safety issues for forklift drivers.
You can effectively mitigate snow entry as well as heavy cold air penetration with an appropriately fitted dock seal. A dock seal will seal off the loading dock area from unwanted weather conditions. Installing head curtains can also block the entry of these conditions when you need to open the dock doors.
3. Bottom Sweeps on Pass Doors
It costs a lot to heat a large facility and keep it comfortable during excessively cold weather conditions. Paying attention to the details of your building envelope can ensure leakages aren’t happening throughout the day. Bottom sweeps should be present on the bottom of pass doors. Without bottom sweeps, snow can seep into the building and create a slippery hazard. In addition to safety concerns, without bottom sweeps your building will experience a large amount of energy loss. Check your facility pass doors to ensure they are equipped with these energy savers.
4. Stair Sets
Check the stairs that workers use in your facility. A set of stairs that appear perfectly safe in the summer may become a huge liability during the winter season. When stairs are made of rotted wood or damaged steel, workers can sustain a major accident in the case of a fall. Stairs can also become increasingly slippery with snowfall outdoors. Pay attention to the stairs, railings, and hazard they may pose in your building.
5. Air Curtains
Air curtains are designed to retain the conditions you are paying to sustain and repel the outdoor conditions you want to avoid. This intelligently designed barrier between the interior and exterior of the facility repels winter cold, dust, fumes, and smoke in the winter and retains a warm clean environment. In the summer these curtains are just as useful for repelling summer heat, bugs, and dust, while retaining refreshingly cool air conditioning indoors.
6. Insulated Doors
Insulation is an easy and effective way to maintain an ideal working environment in your facility. If your facility is older and built with wooden doors, there is no insulation offered to maintain the warm temperatures you pay to sustain. Switch to insulated sectional doors to maximize energy efficiency at the loading dock area. Insulation combined with the right dock seal and air curtains, creates a perfect weather-resistant fortress that will leave you and your workers comfortable.
7. Steel Faced Bumpers
With slippery driving conditions it’s even more likely that truck entering the loading dock area pay sustain damage with frequent contact hitting the building or dock equipment. Installing steel faced bumpers at loading docks decreases compression on dock seals, prevents damage to the building, and eliminates costs associated with replacing bumpers on an annual basis. You can do yourself and your facility a favour by investing in steel faced bumpers to save on costs long-term.
We’ll Check Your Facility For You
If you’re unsure what to look for in your facility to prevent injury and save energy and money this winter season, we’ll do it for you. Contact a Lenworth representative to set up a consultation and find out how to become a PSP member. PSP members enjoy routine facility inspections with fixed labour for a year to ensure equipment is consistently safe and reliable all season long.
As the VP of Sales & Marketing, Spencer is an energetic and company-oriented manager that places an emphasis on continuous organizational improvement. Spencer's acute focus on building a customer-centric business drives his team to consistently go above and beyond customers' expectations. At Lenworth, Spencer places the customer as the focal point of all decisions.
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At Lenworth our goal is to help you improve facility efficiency, reduce downtime and minimize risk. Contact us today for a free facility inspection.