The Lean and visual management consultants here at Clarity are ready to help you plan your next factory fit out. Whether it’s for brand new premises or the upgrading of an existing warehouse, our role is to ensure that efficiency, communication, sustainability and safety are integrated at every level. With the latter in mind, in this blog we’re taking a look at how to maximise pedestrian safety in your warehouse.
What are the risks to pedestrians in warehouses?
Due to the busy nature of warehouses, with multiple types of machinery and vehicles constantly in motion, it’s imperative that the safety of pedestrians is given careful consideration during the design stage. This involves analysing the many risks to pedestrians inside and around the premises, such as:
Forklifts and material handling equipment: Forklift trucks and other vehicles used for moving products, materials and equipment can pose a significant collision risk to pedestrians. Accidents may occur if pedestrians and equipment share the same pathways and the premises lack effective floor markings and messages.
Limited visibility: Forklift operators often have obstructed lines of sight, especially when carrying large loads. Pedestrians may not be easily seen even if they’re wearing high-vis clothing, which can lead to accidents.
Slips, trips and falls: Uneven surfaces and improperly placed equipment are major causes of accidents in warehouses, which is why carefully designed workspaces and traffic routes are essential.
Spills and debris: Liquids and loose materials on walkways can result in accidents, so it’s also very important that your warehouse is designed so that items are effectively stored away and spill kits are always available.
Poor signage and markings: Visual communication is at the heart of health and safety. Without clear, concise and eye-catching signage and floor markings, pedestrians can accidentally wander into hazardous areas.
Inadequate lighting: Poorly lit warehouses experience more accidents than those with bright LED lighting fitted throughout the premises.
High-stacked materials: As well as the need for solid, secure and sufficient racking, all staff must be trained in how to store items safely. A lack of training can lead to falling objects and dangerous protrusions that lead to accidents.
Lack of awareness: Employee engagement should be maximised through bespoke and in-depth training on how to run a safe and productive warehouse.
Congestion and limited space: Physical space is a major asset in warehouses but this doesn’t mean that every inch should be packed to capacity. By ensuring that there’s enough room for movement, flow and daily processes, your warehouse will become a safer and also a more productive place.
How can pedestrian safety be improved in your warehouse?
The multiple risks and hazards listed above all need to be addressed when fitting out or enhancing a warehouse. This may seem like a gargantuan task, but that’s where our team of visual management consultants come in. We have years of experience in warehouse fit outs and combine the latest technology with Lean principles and team training to ensure your business can not only optimise productivity but also increase health and safety.
In order to maintain safety in your factory, warehouse or logistics hub, there are numerous factors that are included in our site visit:
Communicate pathways: Rather than having to designate separate pathways for pedestrians and forklifts, our LED projected floor markings instantly change according to the movement of traffic. This helps to keep pedestrians safe, as a bright and highly visible warning sign will appear on the floor when a vehicle is approaching.
Visual management tools: A wide range of VM assets can be used to speed up communication and equip workers with the knowledge they require to remain safe. Common examples include visual management boards, cleaning stations, tool shadow boards and 5S cuboids, all of which support clean and tidy surroundings.
Safety barriers: Our polymer safety barriers are designed to flex upon collision, which means that the kinetic energy is absorbed by the barrier instead of transferring to the forklift operator. As well as protecting the driver, vehicle and materials being transported, this system also means that safety barriers don’t develop sharp edges that pose a risk to pedestrian safety.
Employee training: Through workshops and team training sessions, we can help all of your employees to increase their understanding of health and safety best practice. This benefits pedestrians in the warehouse because they know how to remain safe in even the busiest surroundings, plus it gives forklift drivers the peace of mind that everyone around them is moving through the premises in a responsible way.
How do Clarity’s safety barriers for pedestrians work?
Our innovative safety barriers come in all shapes and sizes, making them perfect for warehouses, factories, car parks and anywhere else where vehicles are in operation. As part of our own continuous improvement programme, we’ve recently added pedestrian safety barriers and pedestrian guard railings to our factory fit out offering.
These simple yet highly effective safety barrier solutions have been specifically developed to protect your workforce, visitors and any other pedestrians. Designed to prevent accidents, control the flow of foot traffic and guide pedestrians to specific paths, the result is safe movement of people who need to transit through logistics areas or assemble in safe zones of the warehouse.
Our pedestrian safety barriers are extremely durable and clearly define pedestrian walkways in order to segregate people from hazards such as heavy vehicles and machinery. As well as keeping your people safe, this powerful safety solution also helps your business to avoid fines, high insurance premiums and lawsuits that arise from insufficient safety systems.
Run a safer and more profitable warehouse
We’re ready to empower your warehouse and its employees by providing consultancy, design, training and installation services that are entirely tailored to the needs and vision of your business. As well as increasing efficiency, you can expect the following advantages when you choose our pedestrian safety barriers and other warehouse safety systems:
Prevent and reduce injuries: Due to unsuitable safety provisions, thousands of forklift accidents happen every year in UK warehouses. At the very least these can result in damaged stock and materials, and in the worst-case scenario very serious injuries can occur. Our safety barriers for pedestrians actively prevent this from happening, which increases safety and makes employees feel more confident in their roles.
Save on vehicle repairs and loss of products: Thanks to all of our polymer safety barriers absorbing the energy of an impact, your vehicles and products are protected against damage.
Save on barrier maintenance: Upon collision, the polymer barrier flexes before quickly returning to its original shape. This means it has a far longer lifecycle than traditional types made from steel. In addition, our safety barriers are mould-resistant and scratch-resistant, plus they’re already bright yellow so they don’t require painting and repainting.
Ask us about pedestrian safety barriers for warehouses
If you’re ready to create a truly Lean and visual warehouse or factory that has safety, efficiency and profitability at its very core, contact our team on +44 (0)1482 296451 or fill in our contact form to book your free consultation.