Case Study | Warehouse Safety is No Accident
Confectionery manufacturer is not taking any risks with its workers lives
Recognised as one of Australia’s best and safest places to work, a major confectionery manufacturer is vigilant about keeping its employees and visitors safe from workplace hazards.
Increasing throughput from the factory, an expanding workforce and a growing fleet of forklifts travelling through the factory and the warehouse has meant maintaining its excellent record is a constant challenge.
An indispensable piece of equipment for industrial facilities such as warehouses, manufacturing and logistics, forklifts are frequently linked with workplace injuries in these sectors.
Typical activities such as reversing, manoeuvring, turning blind corners and negotiating bottlenecks mean forklifts present the greatest danger of serious injury to workers.
PEOPLE VS FORKLIFTS – ADDRESSING THE ISSUE
The most effective method of reducing accidents in factory and warehouse situations is to keep vehicles and people separate with clearly defined routes for each.
WorkSafe Australia’s Workplace Traffic Management Guide offers a range of measures for managing identified risks. These include delineating areas using floor markings, traffic directions, signed walkways and guide rails which provide visual cues and warnings for workers.
However, it is not possible to eliminate interactions between pedestrians and vehicles altogether. While signage and barriers are effective at keeping workers and forklifts within their designated traffic zones, intersections and crossings pose a high risk of a collision or accident.
Using automated gate configurations to manage access in shared forklift/pedestrian zones provides an additional layer of protection. To cross a shared intersection a worker must activate a switch to close the boom gates and open the pedestrian swing gates before they can proceed across the walkway. After crossing safely, the worker activates another switch which automatically closes the swing gates and raises the boom poles to allow the forklifts access.
Warehouse Safety Gates in Action
- Pedestrian swing gates normally remain closed and the boom gates open, allowing forklift traffic to move freely around the warehouse
- To cross pedestrians wave their hand across a touchless activation switch.
- The boom gates close preventing access by any vehicular traffic and the swing gates open to allow the pedestrians to proceed through the shared zone.
- Once the pedestrian has crossed they swipe the button on the other side.
- The swing gates close behind the pedestrian and the boom gates are automatically raised allowing access for the vehicular traffic again.
WORKPLACE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT – MAKING IT WORK
After purchasing automatic pedestrian swing gates from us previously, factory management was confident Rotech’s products would more than meet their requirements.
Impressed with the performance of our Bulwark HB Automatic Swing Gates in the past, these were the logical choice to manage pedestrian access to shared zones in the factory and warehouse thoroughfares.
Frequency of use, advanced safety features and tough construction made our industrial Bionik AG boom gates ideally suited for managing forklift access through these areas.
Using SafePass S-Wave touchless activation switches to operate the gates offered the best solution. Small enough to be mounted on the barrier rails, they feature low interference infrared technology that provides contactless activation, in keeping with the factory’s hygiene policies.
MORE ABOUT ROTECH PRODUCTS USED FOR THIS SAFETY SOLUTION
BIONIK AG 3-8 METRE AUTOMATIC BOOM GATE
Warning lights on the top of the boom gate cabinet and the boom pole activate to warn any incoming forklift operator to be cautious and aware the gate is moving.
Suited to industrial applications, the Bionik AG operates reliably for up to 5,000 operations per day. Its 3mm thick reinforced cabinet, heavy-duty springs and a boom pole with internal braces makes it tough and durable. Advanced features provide smooth operation, tough 100% duty cycle and low power consumption.
Digital thinking technology: The AG’s unique design offers precise speed control, easily programmed multi-function digital controller and ultra-responsive performance.
Superior safety sensing: The motor design allows instant reversing of the boom pole if any safety devices are activated, or the pole is obstructed.
BULWARK HB AUTOMATIC SWING GATES
A fast opening swing gate the Bulwark allows pedestrians to pass through quickly while a number of in-built safety mechanisms ensure the highest levels of safety.
Tough: The extremely strong 6 mm steel housing ensures protection against abuse and damage from knocks.
Versatile: The gate can be operated using touchless sensors, push buttons, remote control, PE beam or roof-mounted radar.
Safe: The Bulwark HB’s electronic safety sensing is very effective when an obstruction is sensed the gate stops. In the event of an emergency, the gate arm can be manually pushed open and an alarm will sound.
SAFEPASS S-WAVE INFRARED MINI ACTIVATION SWITCH
The SafePass S-Wave is a compact mini design, waterproof, low voltage touchless activation switch featuring adjustable range and sensitivity.
Widely used in commercial, industrial and public areas the S-wave can be mounted just about anywhere making it suitable for most access control situations.
The S-Wave offers 100,000 hours of no interference performance, an in-built microcontroller with a power-on self-testing function.
Whether it is a food manufacturing facility or a hospital – Rotech has been at the forefront of innovating new ways to create efficient access control solutions for virtually any situation. For more information about our products Alan us (07) 3205 1123 or email us
When busy mine operations intersect the local community
Since commencing operations in 2018 this central Queensland coal mine has been gearing up production and mining operations, now moving coal 24 hours a day with as many as three trucks per hour doing a round trip between the mine and the train loadout facility.
Impact of mine traffic on the township
The 75km round trip involves the haul trucks collecting coal at the mine site, travelling along the dirt access road, joining the main highway, passing through the local township, driving on to the rail loading facility then returning empty via the same route to the mine for the next load.
During peak times heavy-duty trucks leave and enter the public highway as often as every 15-20 minutes making the management of site access a high safety and security priority.
Secure Coast Solutions customised access control system has it covered
Secure Coast Solutions designed an access control system with two key objectives in mind:
- to maximise the safety of the general public, and
- to maintain the efficiency of mining operations.
Considerations for protecting the public
- The bi-directional dirt road that enters the mine site is restricted for use by haul trucks and mine employees. Preventing unauthorised people driving down the mine access road is a priority.
- The mine operators had obtained special permits allowing passage via the highway and through school zones. As the trucks run 24 hours a day, to minimise the impact on the local community, restrictions on the frequency of operations are in place depending on the time of day.
Considerations for maximising haul road traffic efficiency
- If the trucks had to stop each time they enter and exit the mine sites this would have a significant impact on haulage efficiency – increasing travel time, fuel usage as well as wear and tear on the vehicles.
- For the haul trucks to be able to access mine areas without stopping they had to be able to open the boom gates automatically before approaching the control point and automatically close behind them.
- Being dirt roads meant safety loop detectors weren’t suitable and if the road became muddy in the rain PE beams couldn’t be used either.
- In addition to the haul trucks, access was required for maintenance and other mine personnel.
- The location of the boom gates at the entrance to the loadout facility meant power was unavailable.
- For safety and vehicle management mine operators wanted to be able to monitor the location of all trucks along the haulage route.
Efficient Practical Solution in Action
- Boom Gates were installed to prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering mine access roads.
- To allow the haul trucks to pass unhindered through the boom gates they were fitted with long-range RFID tags. When a truck is within 10-15 meters of the boom gate, long-range readers mounted on card reader stands, detect the tags on the bull bar of the haul truck and opens the boom gate.
- Radar safety devices hold the boom gate open as the trucks pass when the radar is clear the boom gate automatically lowers a few seconds later.
- Rotech’s dual height card reader stands allow entry and exit for light and large vehicles not fitted with tags.
- If a truck doesn’t reach its destination within an hour after leaving the mine site the boom gate control system sends an alarm to the control centre. The mine control centre monitors the location of each truck and other traffic. Communications are achieved using 4G routers providing internet access over the mobile phone network.
- Accommodating for varying traffic flows depending on the time of day and for weekends, the Bionik AG automatic boom gate’s multi-function digital controller made set up and programming of the access control system easy.
- Six 120W solar panels were installed to provide power for the entire system. Adding 720amp/hours of battery storage means the solar panels can provide enough power for 4-5 days allowing for overcast weather.
- LED strip lighting on the boom gate arms and illuminated card reader posts provide increased visibility and safety during night works.
Why the Bionik AG Boom Gate was the best choice for the job
“This is a busy, intensive use situation requiring high levels of safety and reliable operation. The Bionik AG boom gates are low in maintenance, fast to activate and are robust and reliable.
LED lights illuminate the boom arms and the electronics are inside a well sealed enclosure protecting the components from coal dust.
All equipment chosen is 100% duty cycle and high temperature rated so it can be used as often as needed. The Bionik AG Automatic Boom Gate featured everything needed to do the job.”
Stuart Bryant – Secure Coast Solutions
For more information about this or other safety and security combinations for your site call Alan Roberts on 07 3250 1123 or email email@example.com
Control Vehicle Access to your Waste Facility
Rotech are leaders in automated access control
Our boom gates are tough, reliable, cost-effective and easily configured for different locations
Customisable for all types of weighbridges
Can be controlled using push buttons, transmitters, tokens and access tags
Relocatable for temporary entry areas around the facility if required
Optional solar power available for areas without access to mains power
Automatic emergency opening of the boom gate triggered by fire alarm
Reliable, efficient and cost-effective
High operational efficiency: 100% duty cycle, the revolutionary brushless motor is more efficient – allows up to 4000-5000 operations per day with economically ultra-low power consumption.
Lower maintenance costs: the brushless motor saves time and money in maintenance. The mechanical quality of the Bionik boom gates is exceptional.
Quality is unsurpassed: European manufactured using only the highest quality materials and components available has produced a product that is strong, robust and designed to last.
Site safety a priority
Rotech Bionik automatic boom gates include many safety features as standard:
Manual opening: easily opened using the release key which disengages the drive system without having to open the cabinet. No danger to personnel from contact with electrical equipment or drive mechanism.
Increased control of safety sensing: means all aspects of safety can be accurately managed. The motor design enables instant reversing of the boom pole if any safety devices are activated or if the pole is obstructed.
Battery back-up: the boom gate will continue to function for up to 300 operations in the event of power failure allowing vehicles to still exit.
Essential safety features: strategically placed warning lights on the top of the cabinet are standard. Boom pole lights, loop detectors and safety beams options are also available ensuring vehicles and pedestrians alike are protected.
Prevent tailgaters creeping through behind other vehicles: intelligent control panel software prevents a second vehicle tailgating by instantly lowering the pole to half-way. The gate will not open until the second vehicle has been allowed access or presented an access card.
Mechanically tough and durable construction prevents damage from vandalism: featuring machined steel gears, high quality bearings, strong gearbox and a self-locking mechanism means the pole cannot be forced open.
For a Wide Entrance
- Rugged construction
- 3 mm thick cabinet reinforced with 6 mm steel bracing
- Heavy duty springs
- Strengthened pole support operates in 90 Km/h winds
- Up to 5,000 operations per day
- Brushless DC motor with multifunction digital controller for precise control
Short on Space
- Cost effective solution for sites with tight spaces
- Compact design
- Tough 100% duty cycle
- Up to 5000 operations per day
- Fast opening speed
- Instant reversing
- Superior safety sensing.
Want to know more about how Rotech products can help you manage vehicle access to your waste facility?
Call Alan Roberts on (07) 3205 1123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.