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In previous posts we talked about forklift safety and the best possible ways to add prevention elements to these key tools in our industries. Today, we’d like to share some of the control systems and forklift fleet management methods used by the leading brands in our industry to help us understand some of their key safety functions that could allow us to reduce workplace accidents.

First, it’s important to understand that the professional monitoring of the use of forklifts and the constant and strategic monitoring of their journey will not only provide greater safety for all our team members but it will allow us to operate in a much more efficient and holistic way.

 

One of the methods used involves RFID readers and/or codes – a configuration is established that allows the trucks to be used only by authorised and specially trained personnel. This way managers know at all times who is driving each of these heavy vehicles.

At the same time, documenting impacts is a very useful process that helps us analyse the operation and circulation of forklifts and to identify the main areas and causes of accidents. With that goal in mind, impact sensors are being incorporated to loading vehicles in such a way that, in case of collision, this is registered in a database that includes the name of the person driving at the moment of the impact.

In addition, this type of measures will lead to the operators being more careful when practicing certain types of manoeuvres. These systems will provide useful information on the operating patterns of the forklift and will help track and plan its maintenance stages.

We should also point out that Claitec’s PAS Solution can also bring great value to this type of fleet control development. One of the most interesting advantages of this product is its ability to record when and which trucks detected a pedestrian. This way, we can locate the critical points of circulation in our industry and the areas of greatest risk to pedestrians, in order to take measures and avoid accidents in the future.

 

These are some of the impact control and fleet management systems implemented by the biggest brands in the world:

 

  • Toyota i-site: a fleet management and registration system that allows the company to monitor the use of the forklift and the operator’s performance in real time. It provides a continuous analysis and advice to clients.
  • The Linde Fleet Management  system for the control of forklift fleets, developed by Linde Material Handling Ibérica, and focused towards offering customers the possibility to have key data on their fleet in real time.
  • The ISM Online system from Jungheinrich, responsible for forklift management information and which corresponds to a comprehensive fleet management with which an entire fleet of trucks can be managed, regardless of size and complexity.
  • And Still’s Fleet Manager which generates a complete plan of the management and monitoring of the industrial fleet, considering the optimisation of resources and the professional and efficient operation of our work vehicles.

 

If you’d like to find out more information about the solutions we can provide, don’t hesitate to contact us: https://claitec.com/en/contact/

 

Keeping your company safe means protecting the people that make it what it is. When it comes to responding to an emergency, those people and your company are put at risk. The best way to keep everyone safe is to take the time and create an emergency evacuation plan. But in order to have an effective evacuation plan, your company needs to keep some important things in mind.

 

Setting Expectations

 

The key to creating and maintaining an effective emergency plan begins with knowing exactly what you want. It is important to know the necessary timeframe for a successful evacuation, and where employees are expected to go during the emergency. The ‘where’ and ‘evacuation time’ are the most important expectations to get in order. These must be based on the risks of your company in particular. You cannot properly institute risk prevention policies without being aware of the potential risks you face.

 

In the event of a serious emergency, there may be areas of the building that are more likely to be compromised than others: rooms containing highly flammable substances, areas with obstructions, etc. This means that these parts of the building should be avoided during an evacuation. In the case of the storage of combustible or other potentially harmful materials, an evacuation point should be a safe distance away from these areas.

 

How long you have to evacuate will mainly be dependent on the types of risks your company faces. Always plan for the timeframe of the emergency that has the shortest time allotted for evacuation. That way you can evacuate fast enough to protect your employees no matter what happens.

 

Alternative Evacuation

 

We all know the saying about best-laid plans, and how they often go awry. An emergency evacuation plan should take this into account most of all. As much as you can try to expect the unexpected, there are always complications. People can panic and create unanticipated problems for even the best plans. Similarly, safety measures you planned to rely on could fail in the moment. That is why a truly effective evacuation strategy is somewhat fluid. A comprehensive workplace safety model will take all these factors into account, in order to craft a seamless emergency evacuation strategy.

 

There should never be one available exit path or one relied upon rendezvous point. These are just not reliable enough to stake the well-being of all your employees on. The confusion that can ensue during an emergency is often due to excessively rigid evacuation plans. That rigidity can make all the preparation worthless. That is why training and planning must be dynamic. In these extreme and unpredictable situations being able to account for employees is a must. At the end of the day, it is about making sure everyone is safe.

 

Practice

 

An emergency plan is not complete without a plan of how to teach it and train people to use it. And far too often practice breeds complacency. Employees and even employers begin to simply go through the motions of drills and training. I believe that all forms of practice must be somewhat confrontational in order to be effective. This is not to say that these drills and planning sessions should be disrespectful, but they should challenge employees. The expectations that you have set should be maintained, and there should be experimentation with alternative evacuations.

 

One of the best methods of practice is to simply ask employees about the evacuation plan. When they propose a way of exiting the building, have a probable means of denying it. They say, “I would use the emergency exit at the end of the hall.” You respond, “The roof over that exit has caved in. What do you do?” This shakes people out of complacency. They are no longer being led or relying solely on what they already know.

 

This kind of confrontational preparation gets the mind working in the ways needed to solve problems during the high stress of an emergency. Also, businesses can incentivize their employees to encourage more participation in the safety program. Furthermore, rigorous practice helps highlight workplace risks that come in handy during a workplace risk assessment.

 

The Safety Mindset

 

There is a cost to safety. It takes both an investment of time and money to create the most effective plans. You will need to set aside time to train employees on safety procedures and the proper way evacuate. And training, drills, and other forms of practice must be ongoing to assure the effectiveness of the overall safety strategy. The company will also need to have effective safety and security technology.

 

As mentioned above, tracking your employees is invaluable for evacuation planning. Not only will you be able to know that everyone made it out, in the worst case scenario you will be able to point emergency responders in the right direction. It is also important to have the physical safety and security devices in the building working effectively.

 

Doors and locks are especially important, as malfunctions of this type can lead to lockouts, trapping employees during an emergency. Sticking doors, locks that are not turning smoothly, etc., should be seen as red flags.

 

Most of the time security professionals can salvage this type of security hardware with maintenance, but you must always be willing to invest in installing new commercial locks. There are a good selection of warehouse locks that can be used to bolster your warehouse security and keep your emergency evacuation plan well rounded. Whenever something is not working, you cannot shy away from the cost of safety.

 

Final Thoughts

 

To have an effective emergency plan, you need to know what you are looking to accomplish. Where people are evacuating to, and how fast they need to get there. There must be room for things to change without causing a catastrophic breakdown in the plan. This comes from dynamic and confrontational practice methods. And at the end of the day, the willingness to invest the resources into this preparedness will determine how safe your employees and company are.

 

We discussed in previous posts the importance of guaranteeing forklift safety as well as the different ways through which we can improve accident prevention levels within our industries and work spaces. Today, we would like to expand on these areas and explain the multiple benefits of a very useful and easy to deploy tool: the PCS Solution.

 

Especially designed to ensure the physical integrity of pedestrians in crossings but applicable to any parts of the journey in industrial spaces, the PCS Solution warns the forklift by previously installed traffic lights the presence and eventual crossing of pedestrians in its work area. This way, the operator handling a load and concentrating on the driving of heavy vehicles, is able to notice the presence nearby of a pedestrian and can take precautionary measures, significantly reducing accidents and risks of running employees over.

The implementation of the PCS system very simple. Apart from the traffic lights, pedestrians circulating in the facility must carry small tags – similar to a keychain -, which will emit light signals when detected by a previously installed RFID activator. That same activator oversees the sending of the signal to the traffic lights, indicating in this manner the presence of a person in the place in question.

All these elements are very easy to implement and a especially durable and robust.

 

This system is generally used in pedestrian crossing areas, pedestrian and forklift intersections, spaces with a lot of forklift movement, loading and unloading areas and merchandise storage spaces, among others.

 

Keen to find out more about the PCS Solution?

You can read about in our website, or contact us directly about this or any other of our products which might be of your interest.

 

The image tends to repeat itself regardless of the industry we talk about – forklifts travelling from one place to another, braking, loading, accelerating, braking, unloading… again and again. Forklifts are like ants moving through our facilities, key pieces of our daily work and for many, a second home.

Keeping always in mind the importance forklifts have in our daily work life, it’s important we keep them in excellent working condition, complying with all established safety guidelines and constantly making of them – and our industry in general – a safer place.

In this post we’d like to highlight some general safety features of these industrial vehicles as well as discuss several tools that can be added to make them even safer.

 

Ignacio Bereciartu, ULMA’s After Sales Service Manager recently explained in an article published on the website www.manutencionyalmacenaje.com that his firm conducts a comprehensive periodic review to strengthen the safety of these machines. This analysis includes all the checks and adjustments which – according to the NTP 715 of the National Institute of Safety and Hygiene at Work – a forklift requires to be considered in optimal conditions, both in the functional as well as in the safety aspects of the vehicle.

Bereciartu clarified that “there is no strict norm, as in the rest of the countries, regarding the periodic inspections that forklifts must comply with” and said that his firm analyses: the driving position, the lifting elements, wheels, micros and sensors, braking systems and signalling systems, together with other safety indicators, such as license plates, operators’ manuals and CE marking.

 

He also highlighted some of the safety measures implemented in the forklifts which constantly help prevent accidents in ULMA’s workplace. For example, more and more vehicles have presence detection systems which paralyse the wheel of the forklift and the elevation of the mast as soon as it senses the driver is no longer sitting – or more precisely, when he or she lifts his or her rear from the seat.

In addition to this, devices are used to keep the forklift halted until the driver puts on his or her seatbelt. That system is not designed as in a normal car – its goal is to ensure that in a risk situation the operator does not jump out of the cabin instinctively, an action which would expose him or her even more.

The forklift’ automatic lighting – which lights up when the forklift is started – and a device for detecting blind spots or speed limitations are also some of the developments highlighted by Bereciartu in the aforementioned article, and safety feature we should all contemplate incorporating into our work vehicles and spaces.

 

This is also our goal at Claitec. Some of our developments provide forklifts with various tools to operate more efficiently and safely. The BS (Blind Spot) Solution, for instance, indicates who has the right of way at intersections by means of traffic lights and warning lights previously installed in industrial spaces. Experience with our clients shows that once the BS Solution is installed, the risks of running over pedestrians are minimised and collisions between trucks are reduced in areas of limited visibility.

Similarly, the NAS (Narrow Aisle) Solution provides additional safety in narrow corridors. Highly requested by our customers, this high-performance product uses a traffic light to warns drivers when another forklift is also circulating in a narrow aisle. This development is useful for high shelving areas and reduced spaces, especially for retractable and trilateral forklifts.

Finally, the LSA (Low Speed Area) System, regulates and limits the speed of the forklift in loading areas, helping reduce risks and preventing accidents.

 

To find out more about our products, we invite you to visit our website: claitec.com.

If you are looking for further details on a specific topic or if you have any questions for us, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Pablo Picasso once said:

creativity exists, but it must find you working”.

 

At Claitec we not only share the great master´s wonderful words of wisdom but we try to apply them to our routines as reality keeps us constantly in our toes and force us to be creative and up-to-date. Creativity helps us find solutions to the challenges faced by our clients and friends, encourages us to always go further, improve ourselves and put ourselves to the test to find new ways to innovate and create.

 

A perfect example of this creative spirit is the case we want to share with you in this post. It involves our work with the prestigious Swedish multinational IKEA – a leading pioneer in its field worldwide.

IKEA had been using the PAS Solution for a long time in more than the 70 forklifts operating in one of its main warehouses in Valls (Tarragona), operated by FM Logistics. The system in this facility focused on protecting pedestrians when forklifts approached them. The system detected the proximity of a pedestrian, warned the driver and caused the vehicle to start moving slower to protect operators from any potential impact or risk or from being run over. But in this case, and after using the system for a while, IKEA´s Safety Director in Tarragona consulted us about the possibility of incorporating a new functionality to the PAS System – an inhibitor of the speed limitation function.

 

The IKEA team wanted the speed limitation feature to be activated by default in a forklift in the presence of a nearby pedestrian, having the possibility – by means of a button – to maintain its normal speed at the time.

 

Thanks to this new feature, the driver notices the presence of an operator and takes control of the situation, being able to circulate normally after having inhibited the speed limit. This method allows time to be gained in the displacement, the productivity of the vehicles is greatly improved, the drivers are given more control, and the safety of the pedestrian being detected by the forklift is always maintained.

 

This new development has the unique particularity that the push button that the driver carries to maintain the speed – after the pedestrian is detected – incorporates an automatic timer. This makes the inhibition effective only for 5 seconds, as a form of prevention and to always maintain the attention of the driver in his or her surroundings. If the driver needs to keep his speed longer, he or she will have to press the button again and will given another 5 seconds.

The system is designed in such a way that it cannot be sabotaged and the speed control cannot be permanently inhibited. This adaptation is now available as an accessory for other PAS users who want to incorporate it.

If you would like to have more information about this or about another of our products and services, don´t hesitate to contact us.

 

Our previous article explained the importance of safety training in the prevention of accidents in the workplace. Following with that same line, today we’d like to address a very important issue of current concern throughout the world: the use of mobile phones during working hours.

 

Mobile phones are already a fundamental part of our lives. Our routines include the use of the mobile phone during a good part of our day for a range of different activities – from personal conversations with family and friends to a professional use to handle some of our responsibilities.

However, we also know that using mobile phones during working hours can not only result in lost efficiency, but it also becomes a significant risk factor, especially in areas of concern to us such as the industrial world, factories and cargo handling facilities.

 

But what can be done about the use of mobile phones at work? Should we ban them? Should we punish the user? The truth is that there is not a single answer for these questions, but there are a number of different recommendations that are being put into practice by companies around the world, including some of the largest corporation.

 

Some of the current trends we can use as example include the signing of labour agreements with employees or trade union representatives stating that the use of mobile phones is not allowed during working hours and establishing the possibility of sanction if this rule is not respected.

Another option is to install signage indicating the areas where mobile phone usage is permitted and those where it is prohibited. Some companies also install warning signs on forklifts to alert the drivers and remind them of the responsibilities they assume from the first moment they start driving or handling loads. Posters on the subject are also placed in common spaces – such as changing rooms –  reminding employees of the risks linked with mobile phone usage.

 

On the other hand, some companies place posters reminding operators that certain spaces – such as rest areas, dining rooms or patios – are suitable for mobile use, going as far as making WI-FI network available to them. Installing these posters is a way of saying to operators: “You can now use your mobile phones but remember that you will not be able to do so afterwards”.

Beyond the different measures that can be taken in the matter of mobile phones, the key is to accompany all the actions with solid training and awareness campaigns on the risks involved in using mobile phones in work areas, and to report the increased number of accidents when security parameters in this regard are not followed.

 

Would you like more information about how to reduce risks in your factory or plant?

Please, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

As the adage reminds us: “prevention is better than cure”. If we apply that pearl of wisdom to our routines in the industry, we must remember that the training of operators and those who visit our facilities is not a negligible issue to which we pay attention every now and then. On the contrary, safety training merits constant time and effort to help us anticipate potential accidents caused by lack of knowledge or precaution.

 

In order to take care of those who visit our facilities we first must understand that we need to instil that preventive mindset we talked about in everyone at work. It’s essential to remind them constantly that the safety of the people present in our facilities is a central concern for everyone and that, therefore, we are all involved in this task.

During their visit, we suggest you allocate a space to provide a thorough and extremely clear explanation of the potential hazards that can be faced when moving around industrial facilities, manoeuvring areas and heavy loading and unloading areas, amongst others. While designed for visitors, these recommendations also apply to operators who join the company although their training period may vary according to the responsibilities and tasks to be performed.

During that initial training time – and if necessary – we must show visitors the type of personal safety equipment that should be used during the visit, clearly explaining its correct use. Unfortunately we very often see visitors taking off their helmets and exposing themselves to very high risks without being aware of it.

 

Visitors should stay with your guide at all times, and everyone should be clear about the risks involved in not doing so or getting away from the group. Also, if possible, it is recommended to have someone with a solid knowledge of first aid principles among those who accompany visitors during their stay in your facility. This person should be prepared to act in the event that some type of accident or unforeseen health event occurs.

 

Another very important aspect of your visitors’ training is to inform them about the main traffic signs they should be aware of and which are the evacuation routes of your facility. Remind them also when are they allowed to take pictures or videos and when and where can they smoke.

By paying attention to and following safety guidelines, we are all contributing to prevent and reduce accidents in industrial facilities.

 

Have you ever calculated how much do you use trucks and forklifts in your warehouse? Or how many trucks enter your premises in a month? How many hours of loading and unloading do you do over a semester or a year?

Regardless of the type of industry we work in, the answers to these questions ought to be mind-blowing! And given the high frequency of use of these essential transport tools we must strive to provide the highest safety guarantees for our employees.

 

That’s precisely why today we’d like to talk about the TDS Solution (Truck Docking System) – a true ally in our daily work, a co-pilot for drivers who spend many hours loading and unloading in the docking areas of our warehouses.

This system is designed to contemplate the dynamics of work in different tasks and minimise the risk of vehicles running over any pedestrian. It aims to create a safer, more modern and much more efficient industry, taking advantage of the many benefits delivered by technology.

 

This solution, which has been successfully used and is widely accepted by our clients, comprises detection sensors, a control unit and traffic lights. These are extremely resistant, very easy to install devices – the traffic light in this system warns the driver of the vehicle about the presence of operators in the loading dock.

The detection sensors are installed at the dock and are responsible for detecting whether there are any pedestrians, giving the signal to the traffic light and alerting the driver. With that reference, he or she can approach the loading dock without being a source of danger for the person there. All of this allows us to carry out more secure manoeuvres and to have more protected operators.

 

This system can be perfectly complemented with other Claitec’s solutions already discussed in this blog such as the LSA Assistant (to slow down while in the docks) or the NAS Solution, which is used to avoid accidents between forklifts in tight spaces.

 

Any questions about the TDS solution or any of Claitec’s systems?

 

Please, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

 

Accidents are bound to happen – whether we invest all our efforts in education or whether we broadcast key safety and prevention regulations. However, we can take measures to cushion the impact that unforeseen events may have on us, on our work team or on our machinery. At Claitec we work towards this goal.

The Fall Protection System (FPS) is one of our most helpful developments in this aspect – a true ally when working in dangerous areas. This development consists of a retractile safety device anchored to a fixed element and connected to the worker’s safety harness. When a fall occurs the system is responsible for stopping the functioning of the machine and prevent any possible risks and greater damages.

 

The system is simple to install, and it consists of an anchorage point, an anti-fall mechanism, a retractable steel cable and a safety harness. When working in dangerous areas, the person must hook his or her harness to the retractable cable at the fixed mooring point so that if a fall occurs the anti-fall device will detect the situation and instantly send the signal to stop the plant’s machinery preventing the worker from falling towards other areas that might injure him or her further.

The shape and structure of the fixed mooring point should be sufficient to prevent the automatic disconnection and sliding of the device. The use of marked and certified fixed mooring points is recommended as stated by the European standard EN795.

 

Likewise, the pieces that make up the FPS system stand out for their durability and robustness, ensuring its correct operation in intensive work spaces and industrial zones that may require its permanent use. The system can be perfectly used in a wide range of hazardous areas of work such as in spaces with presses, shredders and compactors working actively – among many other possibilities.

 

The FPS is a great ally for our customers’ daily work and increasingly more companies are requesting the installation of this system in their work spaces. In addition, the FPS has been successfully complemented with the hazardous areas solution, of which we have spoken in previous posts. It’s important not to forget that, although today there are several retractable safety systems, the FPS system developed by Claitec is the first to warn and completely stop the machinery to protect the worker.

 

If you are keen to find out more about this system or would like further information about any of our products, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

In our previous post we talked about the NAS Solution – an extremely useful tool that helps “amplify” the spaces in the areas where forklifts are manoeuvring and cargo is being handled. Continuing along those lines, today we’d like to introduce another of our developments also designed to improve circulation in industrial areas, and particularly to help prevent accidents involving operators and vehicles for industrial use. We are talking about the BS Solution for blind spots.

 

The Blind Spot (BS) System consists of a solution that uses previously installed traffic lights to indicate who has preference in industrial intersections – whether the drivers or the workers on foot.

 

The BS System is very easy to install, and it only requires a RFID trigger, traffic lights, a personal key ring for operators and tags for the forklifts. Pedestrians can carry the tags easily in their key rings or with their ID cards, for example, and so can the forklifts. The tags then emit light signals when an activator detects them and the traffic light later indicates who was the right to circulate.

This is a particularly helpful solution in loading and unloading areas; when manoeuvring in areas with low visibility; in areas where pedestrians and forklifts intersect; and in spaces with a lot of traffic and forklift movement.

 

Experience has shown that once the BS Solution is installed, the risks of being run over by forklifts and pedestrians are minimised, as are collisions between forklifts in areas of limited visibility. In addition, the equipment is characterised by the durability and robustness of its devices that easily withstand their intensive daily usage.

 

For more information about this solution or to learn more about our products, please don’t hesitate to contact us at this address: https://claitec.com/en/contact/

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