The Changing Landscape of Warehouse Safety

Warehouse and Logistics White Paper

Kirk Key Interlock has over 80 years of experience in industrial safety across a wide range of sectors such as manufacturing, waste & recycling, concrete and warehousing. Recently, we have made use of this expertise and knowledge to produce a white paper on the changing landscape of warehouse safety in the US.

More specifically, the white paper below touches upon the changes in the warehouse industry and their effect on safety, as well as the benefits of safety equipment. It also illustrates how adopting best safety practices could not only minimize risks (such as accidental drive-aways at loading docks) but also deliver a return on investment by eliminating downtime and the costs resulting from the loss of assets and staff.

Changes in the Warehousing Industry

Warehousing is an enormous industry that is an essential part of the modern world and is constantly adapting to new demands. Supply chains are becoming more complex and warehouses are becoming distribution centers – where goods are finished, picked and packed rather than old-fashioned storage areas. IBIS World calculates the revenue of the public storage and warehousing industry in the US to be $25bn, with an annual growth rate of 3.7 per cent over the past five years. This involves just over 20,000 businesses and the employment of almost 270,800 people.


Read the full white paper here.

Improve Safety & Efficiency of Lift Gate Trailer Loading at the Docks

Lift gate trailers

Lift gate trailers are beneficial for shippers as they provide the means to load/unload shipments without the need for a loading dock. Trailers equipped with a lift gate can be loaded / unloaded by lowering the cargo to the ground on the lift gate and cargo can then be moved with the use of a forklift or pallet jack. However, lift gate trailers pose a unique safety dilemma when arriving at a loading dock, as typical safety hook restraints cannot be used to secure the trailer to the dock. An unsecured trailer at the dock presents an unsafe loading / unloading environment for forklift operators and dock workers.

What’s the risk?

In the United States there are 97,000 forklift accidents reported each year, resulting in injury and or fatality. Of these reported incidents, 7% of those accidents occur during loading / unloading of a trailer. These loading/unloading occurrences could have been prevented if the proper trailer restraint system was implemented at the dock. However, many loading docks across the United States are setup to only safely accommodate traditional trailers with rear impact guards, also known as Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) bars, that accommodate restraint hook capability and do not have a safe option for trailers equipped with lift gates.
A trailer equipped with a lift gate prevents the use of the ICC bar with a hook-restraint device. Due to the mounting of the lift gate, a hook restraint is unable to properly attach to the ICC bar and significant damage to the restraint hook and property can be sustained when used with a lift gate trailer. Chocks can be implemented for lift gate trailers, as they are an acceptable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) option for trailer safety, however, chocks offer minimal protection against trailer movement and can provide a false sense of safety during the loading / unloading process. Chocks do not provide an effective barrier to preventing drive-away, potentially pulling away while a forklift operator remains in the trailer or even caught between the back of the trailer and the dock edge. So, what type of restraint system can be implemented to ensure maximum safety for loading / unloading these trailers?

What’s the solution?

Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems can ensure the safe loading / unloading of lift gate trailers at docks and provide the same level of safety for all trailer types. Salvo systems ensure a predetermined sequence of operations when restraining the trailer at the dock. Once the trailer is parked at the dock, Salvo’s patented glad hand with interlock technology is secured to the trailer’s emergency brake coupling, interlocking the trailer with the dock door.

The released key from the glad hand is then inserted into the Salvo Control Panel, trapping the key, and communicating to the dock employees via a traffic light system that the dock door can be opened and it is safe to load/unload.
Only once the process is complete and the dock door is locked, can the key be released and returned to the glad hand, allowing the air-lines to be reconnected and the driver to safely depart.

Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems provide:

• Versatility: A complete restraint system for all trailer types providing full dock safety system
• Communications: Truck drivers and forklift operators are aware of loading/unloading progress
• Regulations: Conforms to OSHA loading / unloading compliance 29 CFR 1910.178

Implementing a trailer restraint system that ensures a maximum level of safety for all trailer types, with no limitation, allows greater safety and loading / unloading efficiencies at the docks. Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems eliminate human error and ensures the safest possible lift gate trailer loading & uploading.

To learn more about how Salvo can improve the safety and efficiencies at your dock, visit (more…)

KIRK Releases New Coupler Interlock System

KIRK Releases New Coupler Interlock System

KIRK® is proud to release the NEW Type CIS Coupler Interlock System.

The Coupler Interlock System is an electromechanical interlock that is suitable for controlling access to tubular bulk material transfer systems, such as those used for silo storage, mitigating the risk of lost material and cross contamination during the loading or unloading process.

The electronic unit is available with a standard gate that blocks access to the tubing coupler. An electronic control system signal will unlock the CIS unit, and notify the operator to lift the gate, granting access to remove the tube coupling cover for material transfer. A sensor notifies the control system if a cover or mating coupler is in place, and the CIS unit provides status of the gate position. The gate is lowered when the transfer is complete, and the CIS will reset to a locked state.

For more information on this product please view the product datasheet.

Isolating Energy in the Wind Tunnel

Securing the hazardous within a wind tunnel

Wind tunnels, used for aerodynamic and acoustic testing in the automotive and aerospace industries, use one or more electrically driven fans to push or pull air through a test section. Air will either recirculate through a closed loop or be drawn in from the surroundings from one end of the tunnel and exhausted out the opposite end.

Around the wind tunnel, there are several full body access doors to allow for maintenance. It is critical to ensure no one enters the tunnel while in operation. Incorporating a trapped key interlock system ensures the proper sequence of energy isolation is performed and personnel remain safe.

Click here to view the application guide.

Safe & Sound

At KIRK, we focus on the safety and wellness of our employees every day

At KIRK, we focus on the safety and wellness of our employees every day.

Our KIRK Wellness Wheel Scorecard Program supports initiatives to promote employees’ overall health.  Throughout the year we host events & campaigns that focus on one of five categories within our Wellness Wheel; Physical, Psychological, Economic, Social, and Environmental.

Our belief and focus on safety and health makes KIRK a great place to work every day, with great people!

Keep yourself, your employees, and fellow co-workers Safe + Sound this week and every week!

Protecting Personnel & Preventing Unscheduled Truck Departures

Salvo™ loading dock safety systems eliminate human error

Salvo™ loading dock safety systems eliminate human error where guarding personnel from hazardous dock area situations is imperative.

Salvo™ mitigates dangerous loading/unloading activities by interlocking the trailer’s air brakes with the dock door, preventing an unscheduled departure. Once loading/unloading is complete and the dock door is closed, Salvo™ provides immediate communication to the driver that it is clear to depart. Salvo™ safety systems ensure that employees return home safely and the potential loss of operations due to dock area accidents is minimized.

Conforms with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178, ensuring that the brakes are set during loading/unloading. Salvo also conforms with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.23 by providing a barrier from fall protection.

Fast Installation
The Salvo Kit makes mounting and wiring a simple task. The quick installation process allows for minimum site disruption and downtime.

The Salvo system works with all vehicle and dock types including lift gate trailers and open sided platforms. Salvo can also integrate with existing dock safety products such as dock levelers, restraints, traffic lights, etc.

Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems

Salvo Supports National Forklift Safety Day

Protect your dock personnel on National Forklift Safety Day and every day with Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems! Salvo loading dock safety systems prevent drive-aways during loading/unloading 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 keeps your personnel and equipment safe by – eliminating human error.

Isolating Power on Electric Fracturing Fleets

Hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas in the United States

Hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas in the United States has been around since the 1940’s. However, only recently has “fracking”, as it is commonly known, become the new buzzword in the energy industry. With the demand for natural gas continuing to rise and the additional economic benefits this industry has created, improvements to the process, equipment, and safety of those working in this industry are ever evolving.

Electric fracking fleets are beginning to replace traditional diesel fuel fleets due to the higher operation costs of diesel fleets as compared to electric fleets. Also, electric fleets help to minimize emissions, noise pollution, and dust build up common in the diesel fleets.

The introduction of electric fracking fleets have therefore introduced unique safety measures to ensure worker’s safety when connecting or disconnecting power for operations.

KIRK trapped key interlock safety systems ensure a predetermined sequence of operations are followed each time power is isolated to ensure couplers are de-energized before connecting or disconnecting from the main power source.

To read the full guide, click here.

Kirk Isolates Power for Concrete Mixer Maintenance

Concrete introduces safety hazards that can place workers in danger and put their lives at risk

Concrete is the most commonly 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.

Working with concrete introduces safety hazards that can place workers in danger and put their lives at risk. 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. To ensure worker safety, power must be isolated prior to entry of the mixer and at no time during maintenance can power be inadvertently re-energized.

Implementing a trapped key interlock safety system into the safety procedures for power isolation can eliminate human error and drive a pre-determined sequence of operations to ensure worker safety.

Click here to view the application guide.