Safety in your facility

Safety in your facilities, some tips

In a recent article in Il Sole 24 Ore, Maurizio Stirpe, vice-president of Confindustria, said that today it is really important for companies to invest in safety as an essential part of all production processes.

According to the latest data, most of the operators’ injuries are due to the handling of materials with traditional tools, about 85%.

The other main causes of accidents are simple movement of operators, such as walking, lifting or handling materials (35.4%). Manual handling, picking and handling without any type of equipment account for 16%, while assembly and packaging operations at workstations have an incidence of 14%.

The fact that most accidents occur in intralogistics operations highlights the need to improve the equipment used for materials handling inside the facilities.

Safety is part of BG Log UK’s principles, and through this article we are pleased to show some solutions to increase safety in intralogistics operations.

1 – Optimising production layout

The space in a warehouse or facility determines the productivity and safety levels of the entire facility.

Clutter and chaos on the floor and the constant movement of materials and operators can cause a disaster in your facilities.

It is therefore necessary to arrange equipment in the best possible way so that it does not hinder the movement of operators and material handling systems.

Solutions

To improve the layout of a production plant, it is necessary to better plan warehouse capacity and forecast material planning in relation to future needs.

Today, digital technologies support plant directors in planning, managing and optimising capacity through performance monitoring.

A properly planned manufacturing site will create dedicated storage areas and pathways for operators and materials.

To organise space, it is essential thaving solutions such as Flow Racks, which are modular and bespoke, freeing up floor space and providing a safe warehouse.

Modular Flow Racks, safety in your facility
Modular Flow Racks, safety in your facility

2 – Thinking of new material handling solutions

As production requirements continue to change, companies must stay up-to-date to be able to compete and meet customer expectations.

But change is not only happening globally, it is also happening in intralogistics and material handling.

Moving materials from the warehouse to the workstation is a challenge for industries today.

Forklifts no longer seem to be an efficient and safe mean of transport along production lines.

A new, more flexible, safer and more ergonomic material handling model has to be considered.

Solutions

The first step to have a safe facility you need to change the traditional means of transport, using modular and flexible solutions that are easier and more efficient for operators to use.

Using trolleys that are based on standard blocks, but which can be configured in different ways, to create infinite solutions that adapt to the ever-changing organisations and save times and moneys.

Lean Manufacturing trolley, safety in your facility
Lean Manufacturing trolley, safety in your facility

The latest trends include:

  1. The Tugger Train
  2. Mother-daughter solutions
  3. Pallet trolleys
  4. Shelves trolleys
  5. Storage trolleys
  6. Rotating trolleys
  7. Kitting Trolleys
  8. Dunnage Bags
Dunnage Rack
Dunnage Rack

With handling becoming more and more complex, having modern, innovative trolleys meeting your processes and operators increases safety and improves ergonomics within facilities.

A tidier, cleaner working environment that facilitates workflow and just-in-time production.

3 – Consider automation

The digital transformation within the industry has led the development of new types of solutions that can ease the operational challenges operators face.

Among these, automation of material handling processes has taken a leading role.

Automating the material handling process allows companies to reduce the amount of foot traffic, drastically reducing waste and injuries in the workplace.

There are currently two types of solutions that can be used, which are AGVs and AMRs.

AGVs reduce accidents because they have specific paths to take, which do not coincide with the operators’ route. In addition, they can be monitored by the operators if they deviate from the predetermined routes.

AMRs, on the other hand, use software, on-board sensors and maps to analyse the environment, identifying obstacles and avoiding them when necessary, without human intervention.

Solutions

Automation reduces the possibility of operator error, improving ergonomics and safety in your plants.

Before investing resources and time in automation, you should first assess the needs of your production site, learn about the technologies and identify which one meets your requirements.

In fact, AGVs are ideal in factories where there are non-complex, fixed and scheduled operations, such as transport from the warehouse to the various workstations.

AMRs, on the other hand, are suitable for dynamic and constantly changing work environments where operations are very complex. 

Conclusion

Safety must be a top priority for plant directors, in order to have an injuries-free and a sustainable environment.

Flow Racks, safety in your facility

Putting safety first means acting on the all corporate culture. Only then will it be possible to reduce injuries and, above all, create a place where workers feel comfortable. 

Having a safe and ergonomic workplace will improve productivity and increase employee motivation.

Finally, regular maintenance of pathways and floors within facilities is necessary to ensure optimal material handling.

Sources