Material Handling Equipment: Safety Equipment You Should Use to Properly Move Heavy Loads

Material Handling Equipment: Safety Equipment You Should Use to Properly Move Heavy LoadsWith material handling equipment, as with many aspects of the warehouse and manufacturing industries, safety is paramount. If you are going to have people operating equipment to move heavy material around your facility, you want to make sure that safety mechanisms are in place to avoid accidents that can cause injury or even loss of life.

With heavy loads this is even more important due to the momentum that the load will have if you do not maintain control. Making sure that you have the safety equipment in place so that heavy loads will not cause a health and safety problem is not only a good idea, it is often mandated by local laws and regulations.

There are broadly two categories of safety equipment that you should consider in your warehouse or factory, safety options that are part of the material handling equipment itself and other safety equipment around the area that helps make the moving of heavy loads safe.

Safety Devices for Moving Equipment

The first things that most people think of in terms of safety equipment are the options available on a piece of material handling equipment to increase the safety of the unit. The service team at Douglas Equipment can help you to identify what is available and what is necessary for your unique needs.

One of the simplest and most used safety options for material handling equipment are straps and mechanisms to hold the material firmly onto the equipment so that it does not come loose in transit.

A close second is the inclusion of safety features to ensure the material handling equipment does not slip on the surface it is traveling over such as a floor or stairs. The following appliance truck incorporates both of these features:

  • StairKing Battery Powered Stair Climbing Appliance Truck: With a welded aluminum construction this heavy duty truck has a load capacity of 850 pounds. The large 2” diameter polyurethane lifting feet provide more secure stair gripping to prevent slipping on flights of stairs. An auto rewind ratchet works first to take the slack out of the cargo belt and then provides a ratchet crank to securely tighten the load for greater safety. Dimensions are width 24” and depth 12” with heights of either 66” or 72” and the units have 6” mold-on rubber wheels. Included is a ½ horsepower high torque motor that runs cooler under load and an industrial grade gearbox to transmit steady power more preferably than other gearboxes. Units are available with either single or dual batteries to operate the stair climbing action.

Another common and useful safety feature for powered material handling equipment is the safety button. There can be nothing more concerning with a powered unit than having an operator caught and crushed between the equipment and another object like a wall. With the button stop at belly level on the pallet truck below, the truck will reverse when the button is pressed and prevent the situation where the operator is stuck between the equipment and a wall.

  • Wesco Heavy Duty Powered Walkie Pallet Truck: This 27 X 48 electric pallet truck includes ergonomic handles featuring forward and reverse speeds, lift and lower controls, belly reverse safety button, horn and electromagnetic disk brakes with automatic head-man feature when the handle is released. The walkie truck has a steel construction and includes a large rechargeable electric unit that moves the unit while the operator walks behind manually steering the unit. Dimensions are Width 26.5”, Height 59”, Depth 73.75” and the unit weighs 1370 pounds with 10” polyurethane steering wheels and 3” polyurethane load wheels. Capacity for this heavy duty pallet truck is 4400 pounds, but there is also a light duty version available with a capacity of 3300 pounds. Light and heavy duty options are also available in 21” X 48” size pallet trucks.

Safety Devices Around the Building to Protect Workers

In a warehouse environment, the use of strip doors can help meet the OHSA health & safety requirements for dispersal of noise and air pollutants from one room to another, and the optional orange strips on the 12” door packages can help operators to see where the edges of the doorway are to prevent collision with the door frame.

  • Strip Doors for Doorways: Wesco strip doors come in 12” or 8” strips and are packaged to cover the following doorway openings: The 12” strips come in lengths to cover door heights of 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’ and 12’ and the door packages can cover door widths or 6’, 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’ and 12’. The 8” wide strips come in lengths to cover door heights of 7’ and 8’ and the door packages are available for door widths of 3’, 4’, 5’, 6’, 7’ and 8’. The 12” strip width is a heavy duty configuration with a 66% overlap and is available in the smooth or ribbed style. The 8” strip is an easy walk through door with a 50% overlap and is only available in the smooth configuration.

If you are mixing ingredients in a drum you need to think safety first. Because of their design, drums can cause an extra danger if they start to roll as they become uncontrollable. This is why drum tumblers that are permanently in place come with several safety features. These include secure fixings to hold the drum during tumbling and a safety cage enclosure to prevent anyone from coming in contact with the tumbler during operation.

  • Tilt-To-Load Drum Tumblers: The Morse Tilt To Load Drum Tumbler allows you to load a 55-gallon drum upright at floor level, secure the drum in the holder, and then use one handle to lift the drum and a second handle to control drum rotation. Options available on these models include explosion-proof motor or air motor for hazardous areas and a guard enclosure kit with safety interlock. Capacity is 800 pounds for a full drum or 400 pounds for a half full drum. Half full capacity is for a bottom heavy, unbalanced or shifting load, which is harder to tilt than a full drum. Drum rotation speed is variable from 5 to 20 RPM (50Hz models have 20% reduction in drum RPM). The unit is usable to rotate steel, plastic or fiber drums of various sizes — 29” to 37” tall by 18” to 23.5” diameter. Unit weight is 1240 pounds.

Douglas Equipment: Your Sure Bet for Safe Material Handling Equipment

Douglas Equipment has been in the business of quality casters and material handling equipment since 1955, and we know that safety is an important part of any type of material handling equipment. Our dedicated team of service representatives is up to speed on the latest offerings for safety features that are available on all the material handling equipment we carry. When you have questions on what you need to keep your employees safe Douglas Equipment is the place to turn. Contact us today.