Steel King Blog

Keep Your People on the Job and Equipment Undamaged with Industrial Safety Products

Posted on May 5, 2022

The tremendous gains in efficiency and productivity at distribution and warehouse facilities over the past few decades can easily be lessened by safety breakdowns that can lead to personal injury, and equipment and product damage. That includes costly damage to pallet racking – damage that can cut product throughput.

Efficiencies have been gained from better floor plans that allow for quicker throughput, from innovative racking solutions, and from robotics and other automation. At the same time, distribution facility employees are more productive than ever.

But without the proper industrial safety products and approaches in warehouses and distribution centers that use pallet racks, personal injuries can impact productivity, and accidents involving forklifts or other vehicles can damage equipment and building elements, and cause product loss.

A well designed and properly installed array of safety products can greatly reduce such incidents. Those products include safety guard rail, gates, and accessories designed to safeguard people, and to protect racking and other equipment from damage caused by errant forklifts, personnel carriers, tow tractors and other carriers.

Superior Protection for People

Paramount is the safety of people – employees, vendors and other visitors. Walkways and work areas around racking should be clearly defined. Lines painted on the floor can be helpful in promoting such separation, but guard rails, such as Steel King’s Steel Guard and Armor Guard, are far superior – establishing both visual and physical barriers. The guard rails keep pedestrians in defined walkways, and they establish barriers to work areas and routes for forklifts and other vehicles. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, each year in the United States, nearly 100 workers are killed, and there are more than 7,000 nonfatal injuries requiring days away from work.

An additional benefit of the use of guard rails is efficient traffic flow. When pedestrians are kept out of traffic lanes by use of guard rails, forklift operators can maintain their expected pace unimpeded, so overall efficiency is not hindered.

Keep Equipment from Being Damaged

Guard rails also can be installed to protect equipment, including rack aisle ends, mezzanines and equipment platforms, stairs used to access mezzanines and platforms, conveyor systems, machinery, mechanicals, electricity panels, building features, and offices that are situated amid material handling or manufacturing operations. With racking systems and mezzanines protected, inventory stored on that equipment also is safeguarded.

Steel King manufactures two types of guard rail: heavy duty Steel Guard, and medium duty Armor Guard. Both are made with 11-gauge steel.

Steel Guard Offers Outstanding Protection

Steel Guard has an industry leading design that offers heavy-duty protection. The three-ribbed rails withstand impacts from forklifts and other vehicles commonly driven in warehouses and distribution facilities. Steel Guard can be installed with a single rail, or a double rail that offers the 42-inch-high barrier. Steel King rails are measured from post to post, on center.

The medium-duty Armor Guard is designed for protection from light shop traffic. As a more economical option, Armor Guard is still effective at separating people in work stations and walkways. Amor Guard rails have two ribs, and can be installed at a single rail height or a triple rail height. Like Steel Guard, Armor Guard rails are measured from post-to-post, on center.

Steel Guard has five post options: standard center post, standard corner post, center post – end offset, center post – side offset, and center post – standard offset. For Armor Guard, post options are universal, corner offset and side offset.

Three configurations are available for both rail guard types: straight, optional side-angled, and vertically angled. Guard rails are commonly installed with the rails secured to the posts, but when occasional access is needed, an optional lift-out/drop-in rail system is available on both types of Steel King guard rails. Many of Steel Kings guard rail products are available through a 48-Hour Quick-Ship Program.

ProGMA Creates Design Standards Document

Design standards for industrial guard railing are detailed in a 2021 document prepared by the Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association (ProGMA), which is part of MHI – the nation’s largest material handling, logistics and supply chain association. The design standards document is available to non-ProGMA members for $50 at the MHI online store.

Racking also can be protected with accessories such as Steel King’s Guard Dawg — a highly visible and effective rack protector for the prevention of fork-lift-incurred damage. Guard Dawg, with a low-profile design, is ideal for use at intersections and along high traffic routes. Guard Dawg sections are anchored to the floor, nestling the uprights and standard footplates of the racking.

Safety Gates Allow Easy Access

Steel King also offers durable safety gates that can be integrated with both Steel Guard and Armor guard railing. Like the guard rail, the safety gates are manufactured with 11-gauge steel. Gate posts come with openings to accommodate an easy change in the swing direction of the gate. Steel springs automatically close the gates after passage.

See the Safety Products section of our website to learn more about guard rail, safety gates and other products to protect your people, equipment, and inventory.

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