Recently our team visited the Southern Wine and Spirits distribution center near Indianapolis, Ind, to see how they handle safety in their facility. As you can imagine, with the fragile nature of their products, accidents generally lead to product destruction. Combine that with the fact that many of their products cost much more per gallon then the $4.50 gasoline you’re currently putting in your car, and you can easily see why safety is critical here. Every bottle broken or box dropped directly eats away at their bottom line.
Below is a list of just some of the safety solutions Southern Wine and Spirits uses to protect their workers and products:
Function: Column guards create a striking visual contrast against building support columns to alert vehicle traffic of their presence. If a vehicle does run into the building support column, the column guards absorb the kinetic energy created during the strike. As you can see here, the guards can be configured for full-column protection and half-column protection.
Function: Bollard posts create a striking visual contrast against building backgrounds. They serve to alert drivers of many different potential hazards such as door entrances, pallet rack rows, column placements, and valuable equipment.
Function: While most people think barrier rail prevents damage to equipment and conveyors, it can also be a safety feature designed to prevent vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic from entering areas where potential hazards exist. It can also be used to separate heavily traveled areas where vehicles and pedestrians might intersect. Here guard rail is used to separate the pedestrian traffic near a pick module from the vehicle traffic in the warehouse.
Pallet Rack Aisle Protection
Function: These pieces of equipment provide a barrier between vehicle traffic and the pallet rack uprights at the end of a row. If a vehicle runs into the row end of a pallet rack, the pallet rack end protectors absorb much of the kinetic energy created during the strike protecting the rack components and product.
Pallet Rack Upright Protection
Function: Upright protection provides a barrier between vehicle traffic and the front columns of each pallet rack upright. If a vehicle does run into the upright, either with the body of a truck or a fork, the pallet rack upright protectors absorb the majority of the impact. They are also cone shaped to deflect head-on impact from forks.
Spill Containment Stations
Function: By strategically placing spill containment stations throughout the facility, spills are cleaned in a matter of seconds. This prevents any future accidents from occurring while workers retrieve cleaning supplies from across the warehouse.
Function: Safety mirrors allow workers to see around corners or spot traffic in areas where there are multiple angles of approaching traffic. This helps to prevent vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-pedestrian collisions.
Function: Safety signage alerts workers to potential hazards, which can prevent vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-pedestrian collisions as well as all other safety-related accidents.
Function: Floor mark tape provides a visual guide for forklift drivers and other workers who must place pallets in exact alignment on the floor. This ensures that pallets do not stick out and obstruct vehicle traffic, which could cause accidents or injuries.
Pivot Safety Gates
Function: Overhead safety gates protect workers on mezzanines, elevated platforms, balconies, and rack systems during loading and unloading operations performed by vehicles below the area. When one side is raised, the other side closes, allowing quick, convenient, and safe access by forklifts and facility personnel. In this case, completed pallets are lowered by fork truck from the second level of a pick module.
Collapsible Safety Gates
Function: This type of safety gate establishes a visual barrier for forklift drivers to protect workers inside the pick module.
Fire Suppression and Camera Guards
Function: These guards protect the sprinkler system (and in this case the surveillance cameras) within the pick module from damage by fork trucks. As you can see here this guard worked exactly as expected.
Function: Safety netting prevents boxes from sliding sideways and falling off of an elevated conveyor, which could damage a product or injure a nearby worker.
Function: Trucks can be pretty dark during the loading and unloading process, making it difficult for workers to see. From a safety stand point, these lights provide workers with enough light to adequately see what is around them, thus preventing accidents, such as tripping or falling which could lead to injured workers or broken product.
As you can see from the vast array of safety equipment at the Southern Wine and Spirits distribution center near Indianapolis, worker safety is more than just a saying on the wall or a mantra repeated by management. The investments made to make their distribution center safer have also helped to make the company more profitable. Fewer accidents and injuries is a great way to reduce costs and help improve the bottom line, making safety equipment a wise investment for any company.
How does your company view workplace safety? Is it important or more of an afterthought?