Minimizing the Loss of Energy at the Loading Dock

Minimizing the Loss of Energy at the Loading Dock

Loading docks are essential for facilities movement of goods. It is what allows their goods to reach their customers, ultimately creating revenue for the company. While loading docks are critical to enabling profits, they can also incur high energy costs.

The High Cost of Energy Loss

Inefficient energy usage can occur within a warehouse facility in a variety of ways, but the loading dock provides a large opportunity for generated energy to become wasted and for money to literally be thrown out the door.

Warehouse facilities typically have numerous loading dock doors that are in use several hours a day, if not 24/7. Every second the dock door is open energy generated to produce the cool air or heat within the facility slips through the cracks.

This issue is especially present in cold storage warehouses where a significant amount of energy is used to keep the facility cool and preserve the quality of the goods.

An article from Star Refrigeration explains this further: “For a chilled facility at +2°C on a warm, humid day, where the ambient air is +32°C and 70% RH, air entering the building and being cooled to the +2°C condition requires around 100kJ/m3 of heat extraction. This corresponds to 100kW of energy per 1m3 of air entering the store. Assuming it is an efficient cooling system with a CoP of 3, this means 33kW of electrical energy is required to remove this heat – and at 6p/kWhr, this equates to a running cost of over £48 per day.”  That cost can accumulate quickly coming in at £17,520 annually.

In addition, the article goes on to say that if the goods were required to stay at a freezing temperature, such as -25C, the load and operating costs would increase by an additional 40%.

Sustainability Solutions

Solutions are available to prevent the loss of energy through loading dock doors and the high costs associated with it.  Loading dock seals and shelters are both relatively simple solutions that aid in temperature is control and minimize the amount of cool air or heat lost through the cracks of the trailer and dock. Seals are typically made from a foam material that compress when a trailer backs up to the dock during loading/unloading. This creates a suction like seal between the dock and trailer, limiting the cool air or heat escaping the warehouse.

Loading dock shelters also limit the amount of cool air or heat escaping the warehouse and are typically used at sites where there are a variety of truck styles and sizes. They are not as effective as seals but still provide a sufficient solution to help reduce energy loss.

In addition to seals and shelters, systems exist that only allow the dock door to be opened when a trailer is backed up to the dock and ready to be loaded/unloaded. For example, the Salvo Loading Dock Safety System ensures the dock door is locked closed until loading/unloading process can be performed safely. While a cool summer’s breeze may be enjoyable, precious energy and money are going to waste every second the dock door is left open.

These systems greatly reduce the amount of energy going to waste at a facility and help companies save on energy costs. Sustainability is important and efficient energy usage is the first step to ensuring our environment is a clean and safe place for us to live and work for the foreseeable future. Make an impact at your facility today by implementing a solution to reduce the amount of energy lost at the loading dock.

KIRK Key Interlock:

KIRK Key Interlock believes everyone has the right to be safe at work. KIRK provides sequenced process safety solutions to the logistics and energy industries. Our logistic solution, Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems, prevent drive-aways during loading/unloading by interlocking the trailer’s air brakes with the dock door, ensuring that the trailer cannot depart until loading/unloading is completed and the dock door is closed.

Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems protect loading dock personnel and ensure they return home safely at the end of their shift.

For more information on the Salvo Loading Dock Safety System visit https://www.kirkkey.com/ or contact sales@kirkkey.com to talk to a loading dock expert.

 

5 Tips to Select a Loading Dock Safety System for a New Warehouse Build

5 Tips to Select a Loading Dock Safety System for a New Warehouse Build

With e-commerce continuing to grow at increased rates, warehouse space is in high demand.

Retailers are looking to expand their warehouse space for distribution centers to keep up with their growing inventory.  According to Beroe Inc., the global warehousing market was valued at approx. $245 Billion globally in 2020, and it is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 7 percent between 2020 and 2024 to touch the $326 billion mark by the end of 2024.

In addition to the demand for warehouse space, there is a demand for this space to be fitted with today’s latest technology and automation. This increase in technology and automation allows for retailers to maximize throughput and efficiencies, however, it can also create a hazardous working environment where safety becomes secondary to speed of output.

Unfortunately, this type of environment often results in accidents, especially at the loading dock. 25% of all industrial accidents occur at the loading dock and 600 near misses occur for each accident. (ISHN)

To mitigate these risks, loading dock safety systems are commonly requested in new warehouse builds. Architects, engineers, specifiers, and owners are often responsible for selecting (or specifying) the loading dock safety system to incorporate into these projects.

With hundreds of loading dock safety products on the market, this decision can feel overwhelming. To help make the product specification simple, we have put together 5 tips to help you select a loading dock safety system for a new warehouse build:

 

  1. Simple Installation Process: When searching for a loading dock safety product, select a product with a quick and simple installation process to minimize the risk of delays and downtime. Many systems on the market require complex concrete work to install vehicle restraints at the dock. However, there are products available that use other types of restraints, such as gladhands. Gladhand restraint systems lock out the vehicles air brakes, preventing movement and avoiding invasive concrete work installation.

 

  1. Versatility: Warehouse design will differ from site to site and may use different loading structures, door types and vehicles depending on the facility’s location. Selecting a versatile solution that is compatible with a wide range of warehouse designs and vehicle types will save you time by allowing you to meet the requirements of multiple projects instead of only a single one.

 

  1. Flexibility: Most loading dock safety products are permanent systems that cannot be removed from a warehouse facility once they have been installed. However, some loading dock safety systems offer the flexibility of a semi-permanent system. This can be an added benefit to a retailer who is building their own site but may want the flexibility to bring their loading dock safety system with them if they were to ever sell their warehouse and move locations in the future. With a semi-permanent system, a loading dock safety system is only purchased once – saving owners money if a facility’s location were to change in the future.

 

  1. Lead Times: Selecting a product with a quick lead time will save time and avoid unnecessary delays. When considering a loading dock safety product to specify into a project, ensure lead times are reasonable and work with your project’s timeline. Lead time, installation time and your project timeline all need to be taken into consideration when selecting a loading dock safety system. Doing this ahead of time will avoid any surprises or delays in construction.

 

  1. Customer Service: Great customer service is essential when looking for any product specified into a project design. Not only does the product you are looking to specify need to be of high quality but so do the people who you will be regularly interacting with and representing the product. It is important to select a product that is supported by a company and individuals who are considered experts. Working with a team whose focus isn’t only on sales but who truly want to help you solve an issue you are experiencing makes all the difference. Choose a product that has the support of honest, trustworthy, and service oriented people behind it.

 

We hope these 5 tips help you select a loading dock safety system to specify for your next warehouse project.

If you have any questions, contact one of our Salvo loading dock safety experts through the following link: Talk to a Salvo Loading Dock Safety Expert

Salvo lofo

 

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 5 of 5 Overhead/Gantry Cranes

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 5 of 5

Overhead/Gantry Cranes – Trapped Key Interlock Safety Solutions

A recent 10yr study (2011-2017) of overhead crane incidents revealed 54% of all reportables resulted in fatality

Overhead and gantry cranes are essential for the movement of heavy materials to be efficient, effective, and without harm to personnel. During cement production, heavy pieces of equipment as well as finished precast product requires transportation into holding areas and or trucks for distribution.

This study revealed the following breakdown of hazards: 37% Crushed by Load * 27% Load Drop * 12% Caused by Fall * 11% Crushed or Pinned * 6% Improper or Lack of LOTO * 7% Other

Risks such as caught-in/between, struck-by/against, and/or overloaded or falling materials from a crane can bring serious harm to personnel, product, and equipment.  To ensure safety within the area, controlled access points interlocked with crane controls mitigate accidental entry while crane is in operation.

The average cost of a major injury due to an overhead crane incident is $200k / the average cost for a fatality is $4 million

Trapped key interlock safety solutions ensure a pre-determined sequence of operations each & every time.  While LOTO provides a visual warning and identifies hazards, a TKI solution physically prevents a specific set of actions from being performed until previous action(s) have been fully completed!

Common trapped key interlock solution implementation for overhead cranes:

Step 1: Safe Access KIRK Type DM access interlock installed on any and all  access points safeguarding overhead crane perimeter

Step 2: Multiple Entry Points KIRK Type T transfer interlock for sequence control of access keys only after all access points have been locked closed and ready to safely energize overhead/gantry crane

Step 3: Controlled Power KIRK Type PPS electromechanical interlock installed on control switch overhead/gantry crane

Download the pdf version of this fifth and final part of our Precast Concrete Application Series focusing on how trapped key interlocking solutions can mitigate risks when operating cranes and ensure efficient, effective and without harm to personnel movement of heavy materials. 

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 4 of 5 Block & Tile Production

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 4 of 5

Block & Tile Production – Trapped Key Interlock Safety Solutions

Coloring * Molding * Curing * Tumbling * Cubing * Palletizing

A production cell for precast concrete block & tile presents many hazards for workers and equipment.  Energized equipment, rotating machinery, industrial saws and cutters, pinch points and partial and or full body access points all present opportunity for extremity injuries.  Ensuring the proper sequence of safety operations is followed will mitigate the risk of injury.

Extremity injuries are prevalent, accounting for approximately ¾ of all reportable OSHA incidents within this industry

Regular maintenance on the equipment within the production cell is required to ensure efficiencies.  Safety processes must be followed to mitigate human error, eliminate risk, prevent injuries to extremities.

Hand injuries account for 20% of all workplace injuries and compensation costs can be as high as $150k per incident

Trapped key interlock safety solutions ensure a pre-determined sequence of operations each & every time. While LOTO provides a visual warning and identifies hazards, a TKI solution physically prevents a specific set of actions from being performed until previous action(s) have been fully completed!

Common trapped key interlock solution for a block/tile production cell:

Step 1: Power Isolation KIRK Type PPS isolation interlock installed on control panel for block/tile production cell

Step 2: Residual Energy KIRK Type TDKRU time delay unit pre-set to allow for run-down time on equipment

Step 3: Multiple Entry Points KIRK Type T transfer interlock for sequence control of access keys only after power isolation has occurred

Step 4: Safe Access KIRK Type DM access lock installed on main production cell gate and guarding gates

Download the pdf version of this fourth part of our Precast Concrete Application Series focusing on how trapped key interlocking solutions can help mitigate human error, eliminate risks and prevent injuries within a block & tile production cell. 

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 3 of 5 Cement Mixers

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 3 of 5

Cement Mixers – Trapped Key Interlock Safety Solutions

The most common cement mixer hazards: caught-in/between * electric shock * struck by moving elements

Concrete is the most common used man-made material on earth. The uses of concrete range from structural applications to piping, drains, and pavers. Buildings, bridges, roads, and more could not be constructed without this important material.

Assessing and maximizing machine guarding on your cement mixer will mitigate hazards and prevent injuries & fatalities

Concrete mixing plants must perform regular maintenance on mixers to ensure proper working conditions and efficiencies.  Maintenance can involve accessing the mixer’s entry points for cleaning and servicing of paddles or blades. To ensure work safety, power must be isolated prior to entry of the mixer and at no time during maintenance can power be inadvertently re-energized.

Don’t allow an oversite to become a reportable! Let’s change the statistics and enhance your safety!

Trapped key interlock safety solutions ensure a pre-determined sequence of operations each & every time. While LOTO provides a visual warning and identifies hazards, a TKI solution physically prevents a specific set of actions from being performed until previous action(s) have been fully completed!

Common trapped key interlock solution for isolating power and accessing mixer:

Step 1: Power Isolation KIRK Type F isolation interlock installed on main breaker for mixer

Step 2: Residual Energy KIRK Type TDKRU time delay unit pre-set to allow for mixer run-down time

Step 3: Safe Access KIRK Type DM access lock installed on mixer lid

Step 4: Controlled Power KIRK Type PPS electromechanical interlock installed on control switch for mixer lid winch

Download the pdf version of this third part of our Precast Concrete Application Series focusing on how trapped key interlocking solutions can help isolate power and grant safe access to cement mixers.  

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 2 of 5 Gravel Pits: Confined Space

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 2 of 5

Gravel Pits: Confined Space – Trapped Key Interlock Safety Solutions

4.8 million confined space incidents a year are logged with OSHA

The storage of aggregate for various usage can lead to the potential risk to personnel involving engulfment within hoppers (confined space) and loss of materials due to incorrect materials loading. Protecting workers from confined space hazards that can occur during maintenance, cleaning, filling, and unloading of hoppers is critical within a gravel pit.

92 workplace fatalities and 11,000 injuries a year are the result of confined space incidents as reported by the U.S. Dept. of Labor

Interlocking access doors/gates around conveyor systems and hoppers will ensure that entry can only be gained after the power has been isolated and residual energy has ceased.  Understanding the access points, partial or full body, will help determine the best interlocking solution to safely manage access to the hoppers and surrounding areas that could pose a confined space hazard.

60% of confined space fatalities are rescuers – Let’s change the statistics and enhance your safety!

Trapped key interlock safety solutions ensure a pre-determined sequence of operations each & every time. While LOTO provides a visual warning and identifies hazards, a TKI solution physically prevents a specific set of actions from being performed until previous action(s) have been fully completed!

Common trapped key interlock solution interlocking conveyor system with multiple access points and hopper doors to mitigate confined space hazards:

Step 1: Power Isolation KIRK Type F isolation interlock installed on main breaker for conveyor

Step 2: Multiple Entry Points KIRK Type T transfer interlock for access to multiple hopper access doors

Step 3: Safe Access KIRK Type D access lock installed on hopper doors. A two-cylinder KIRK Type D can be implemented to provide a personnel key to be held by personnel performing maintenance.

Download the pdf version of this second part of our Precast Concrete Application Series focusing on how trapped key interlocking solutions can help mitigate confined space hazards.

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 1 of 5 Gravel Pits: Conveyor Systems

Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 1 of 5

Gravel Pits: Conveyor Systems – Trapped Key Interlock Safety Solutions

40 workplace fatalities and 9,000 injuries a year are the result of conveyor accidents as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor

The extraction or storing of aggregate within a gravel pit serves a variety of purposes across many industries including the concrete & cement industries.

Conveyor systems are an important method in the process of transporting materials across the mine surface, into hoppers, over grating for sorting, and into trucks for distribution to plants and manufacturing facilities.

Conveyor system injuries account for 25% of all workers’ compensation claims

The continuous movement of belts, chains, and diverters place personnel working and operating the system at risk. Regular maintenance on these systems is required to ensure efficiencies. Safety processes must be followed to mitigate human error and save lives. The isolation of power prior to entry into the area is the first step in mitigating risk.

Trapped key interlocking systems are recognized by ANSI/ASSE Z244.1 as an Alternative LOTO measure

Trapped key interlock safety solutions ensure a pre-determined sequence of operations each & every time.  While LOTO provides a visual warning and identifies hazards, a TKI solution physically prevents a specific set of actions from being performed until previous action(s) have been fully completed!

Common trapped key interlock solution interlocking conveyor system with multiple access points and access doors:

Step 1: Power Isolation KIRK Type F isolation interlock installed on main breaker for conveyor

Step 2: Multiple Entry Points KIRK Type T transfer interlock for access to multiple hopper access doors

Step 3: Safe Access KIRK Type D access lock installed on hopper doors

Step 4: Controlled Power KIRK Type PPS electromechanical interlock installed on control switch for hopper doors

Download the pdf version of this first part of our Precast Concrete Application Series focusing on how trapped key interlocking solutions can mitigate human error and save lives when operating conveyor systems within gravel pits.

Salvo Solution Prevents Unscheduled Drive-Aways and Offers Wide Range of Trailer Compatibility

Salvo Solution Prevents Unscheduled Drive-Aways and Offers Wide Range of Trailer Compatibility

The Transportation of Cargo

The transportation of cargo is a vital part of the global economy.  It is what allows products to be delivered to their consumers. As you can imagine, there is a great variety in the cargo that is transported across the globe. Automobiles, metals, lumber, food, furniture, and clothing are just some examples.

The Range of Trailer Types

Cargo often requires specific ways of being transported to ensure the quality of the good when it arrives to the consumer. When cargo is transported via truck, a wide range of trailers are used depending on the type of cargo being transported. Each type of trailer serves a unique purpose and is designed to transport specific goods.

Below are some of the most common trailer types:

 

Container Chassis Trailers: These types of trailers are specifically designed to transport intermodal containers between ports, terminals, and warehouses.

 

 

Tanker Trailers: Tanker trailers are closed trailers that usually carry liquids or small granular particles, such as plastics or grain.

 

 

Reefer Trailers: Refrigerated Trailers commonly called “Reefers” are used to keep goods at a consistent temperature during travel.

 

 

Flatbed Trailers: Flatbed trailers are open without sides or a roof and are often used to carry industrial equipment.

 

 

Lift Gate trailers: Lift gate trailers contain a lift on the back of the trailer to assist in unloading or loading goods to a specific height level.

 

 

Standard Van trailers: Standard dry van trailers are enclosed box trailers that do not have temperature control and move the largest amount of the world’s cargo.

 

Safe Unloading/Loading Affects All Trailer Types

In the US, more than 25% of all industrial accidents occur at the loading dock, and for every accident, there are about 600 near misses. No matter the trailer type, safe unloading/ loading is equally important. Risks associated with loading docks and other loading platforms are prevalent in all industries and affect all vehicle types. One of the most common risks at the loading dock is unscheduled drive-aways or departures.

Unscheduled drive-aways occur when the driver unexpectedly pulls away from the loading dock while the loading or unloading is in process. This drive-away creates a gap between the loading dock and the trailer resulting in a hazard for the forklift operator loading the trailer.

For example, the driver is in his cab and may think that loading has been completed. He puts the truck in gear and begins to pull forward. Meanwhile, the forklift operator has just dropped a pallet in the front of the trailer and is backing up towards the loading dock. As the driver pulls forward and the forklift operator continues to reverse, a gap is formed between the dock and the trailer. The forklift operator falls between the gap and sustains serious injuries. The situation becomes even more severe when the truck driver becomes aware of what has just happened. The driver begins to reverse to correct his mistake, unaware that the forklift operator and forklift have already fallen off the trailer and traps the operator between the reversing trailer and the loading dock.  Not only has the forklift operator sustained serious injuries from failing off the trailer but now is at risk of being ran over by the reversing trailer.

However, while most trailers are typically unloaded/loaded at a loading dock using a forklift, not all trailer types are. Unscheduled drive-aways are still a safety risk with other trailer types. For example, tanker trailers typically unload/load using an elevated loading platform or gangway system. Unscheduled drive-aways can still occur if the driver believes that the unloading/loading process is completed and pulls away from the platform while the tanker’s hoses are still attached to the platform. This not only damages equipment and property but also could prove hazardous to the environment if the tanker is unloading/loading flammable or corrosive liquids.

Trailer Compatibility

It can be difficult to find a solution compatible with a variety of trailer designs. Fortunately, systems with a wide range of compatibility exist to prevent these incidents from occurring.  The Salvo Loading Dock Safety System is compatible with a wide range of trailer types, providing safe unloading/loading across several industries.

Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems prevent drive aways at the loading dock by interlocking the trailer’s air brakes with the dock door. This ensures that the trailer cannot depart until loading/unloading is completed and the dock door is closed.

Salvo’s gladhand lock, a component within the system, was recently redesigned to be compatible with container chassis trailers, expanding the solution’s range of compatibility. (Read the Press Release here)

Compatibility with container chassis trailers is essential, with 95% of global manufactured goods being transported in a container at one time or another. (HilcoGlobal)

“One of our large Salvo customers came to us with the need to safely unload/load a large fleet of ocean container chassis with recessed gladhand couplings at the loading dock. Our previous gladhand design fit most but not all the recessed coupling positions on intermodal chassis. As a company that is always striving to innovate and meet our customers’ needs, we adapted the design and developed a tough new product that allows for all trailer types and containers to be safely unloaded/loaded at the loading dock.”

– Pierre Balson, Kirk Key Interlock Vice President of Sales

Conclusion

In conclusion, safety at the loading dock affects all trailer types, including container chassis trailers. Accidents can occur quickly and without warning. Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems are a viable solution that is compatible with a wide range of trailer types and prevent unscheduled drive aways from occurring – keeping personnel, equipment, and property safe.

For more information about Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems, click here.

Additional articles around specific types of trailers and loading platforms can be found through the links below:

Gangway Platform Loading

Lift Gate Trailer Loading

Contact:

Emily Smith

Logistics Segment Manager

esmith@kirkkey.com