Design and installation of safety walkway
Services Used: Engineering Design, Hazard Assessment & Safety
This project involved the design and installation of a new pedestrian walkway in a large warehouse where the current walkway had been identified as a safety hazard. The walkway needed to protect pedestrians from the high Fork Lift Traffic (FLT) volume and slow them down when crossing loading zones. Installation was to have minimal disruption to daily loading operations while maintain a safe construction environment and was to be achieved within the one-week project window.
The previous designated pedestrian walkway was down the centre of the warehouse, delineated only by yellow painted lines on the floor. This walkway was located in an area of high Fork Lift Truck (FLT) traffic movement and presented a significant safety risk to pedestrians. The client wanted to relocate the walkway to the exterior wall where trucks are loaded and unloaded and provide a 2m high fence.
A critical part of the design was to incorporate a solution that slowed down pedestrians as they approached the FLT loading routes, so allowing them to check for FLT movements. Providing gates at each location was a possible solution, however was considered to be too slow and maintenance would be an issue. Lighting to indicate an open loading door was also considered. This may be incorporated in the future.
The proposed solution incorporated a ‘chicane’ type arrangement into the fence, which forced personnel to slow down at loading positions, while checking for FLT movements.
Another key requirement for the walkway was that it did not encroach too much on the available floor area for stacking pallets, while still meeting the requirements of AS/NZS1657 Fixed Platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders. Some fence protection was provided at each loading point by bollards and along the length with pallet floor stops.
Customer requirements included: No major impact to operations during installation; Truck could still be loaded and unloaded with minimal disruption; Suitable protection/separation from FLT’s.
A solution incorporating steel barrier frames that could be relocated as work progressed down the warehouse was developed. These were positioned such that FLT loading could be controlled was incorporated. Continual communication with the client ensured this process was working, personnel were safe and that major disruption was avoided. Installation was completed during a one-week window.