The Importance of a Secure Loading Bay Environment

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Loading Bay Security can be critical to the goods manufactured, sorted, or stored at a facility. It is especially important for facilities within the industries of Food & Beverage and Pharmaceutical. These industries are responsible for providing goods to consumers that could be critical to their wellbeing and are required to be safe for consumption. If their goods were to be compromised it could result in serious health implications for individuals and even potential death.  

Therefore, protecting and securing the goods transported at the loading bay is of the utmost importance to safely deliver goods of high quality to consumers.  

The Loading Bay

The loading bay is an influential piece of every company transporting goods to consumers, distributors or end users that connects the inside workings of a facility to the outside world. It is important that the loading bay is a secure as possible to prevent serious events from occurring that could impact not only the company but individuals’ health and safety.  

Cargo Theft 

Unfortunately, stealing cargo through an unsecure loading bay is a somewhat common event and can have a large impact on costs & profits. Worldwide, the direct cost of cargo theft exceeds $30 billion annually with indirect costs many times higher. (Ciso-Eagle)  

Stolen pharmaceuticals specifically offer an extreme risk to both the company and the public. Many times, stolen drugs end up listed online on internet domains owned by criminal networks. Consumers may look to buy their prescriptions online which in some instances causes major risk. These stolen drugs are most often not stored properly under the necessary conditions needed to protect the medication. In other instances, stolen drugs may have been altered and contain hazardous substances.  The stolen now “diverted” drugs not only put consumers at risk but also have major implications on the pharmaceutical brands image and reputation. (NCBI

Spoiled Goods   

Many goods and products, especially within the Food & Beverage and Pharmaceutical industries, are required to be stored within temperature-controlled environments. The quality of the food, beverage, or drug could be compromised if specific environmental temperature conditions are not met. It is crucial that air cooled or heated to a specific temperature to maintain the quality of the goods or products produces, sorted, or stored on site is not affected by opening and closing of the loading bay door.  

If the loading bay door is not secure and can be tampered with, it could alter the controlled temperature of the internal environment.  If the temperature is unknowingly altered, a facility could potentially incur thousands in costs within a mater of minutes.  

Costs can incur from spoiled and wasted goods and energy costs generated by the altered heated or cool air entering or leaving the facility. A change in temperature can cause bacteria to form, making the food no longer safe to eat. 

Debris and Outside Elements 

The loading bay connects the inside of the facility to the outdoor environment and elements. To mitigate the risk of rain, snow, dust, and insects from entering the openings at the loading bay, most bays are equipped with seals and shelters to help protect from the outside elements. Although the risk is mitigated with these types of solutions, they do not eliminate debris completely entering the facility. These debris have the potential to contaminate goods inside the facility and force companies to throw out affected goods. This in turn can cost companies thousands and even millions in lost product and time spent removing debris or outside elements that have made their way inside the facility.  

Securing the Loading Bay to Reduce the Risk  

It is important to properly secure the loading bay to reduce the risk of cargo theft, spoiled goods, and contamination. As mentioned previously, bay seals and shelters are a great way to protect your bay from these risks. Another way to secure your loading bay is ensuring that the bay door is closed when not in use. Some loading bay safety systems prevent the door from being opened unless a trailer is at the bay ready to be loaded or unloaded. This ensures the loading bay is safe, secure and that goods are protected.  

No matter how facilities choose to secure their loading bay it is critical to ensure the quality and safety of the goods manufactured, sorted, or stored as it can have massive implications on the public’s health & safety if not secured properly.  


About SERV Trayvou Interlock (STI)

STI believes everyone has the right to be safe at work. We protect people and assets within the energy, industry, and logistics sectors. Our logistics solution, Salvo Loading Bay Safety System is a safe, secure, and simple solution that prevents accidental drive-aways at the loading bay. The safety solution interlocks the trailers airbrakes with the bay door, only allowing the bay door to open once that trailer is locked out and secured.  

For more information on Salvo Loading Bay Safety Systems email a loading bay safety expert at sales@servtrayvou.com

Are Your Loading Bay Safety System Maintenance Costs Cutting into Profit?

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The loading bay is an essential part of any manufacturing company, warehouse, or distribution center. It is what allows the process of raw materials to enter and completed goods to be transported to consumers and end users. Unfortunately, the loading bay can be a hazardous environment where accidents can occur. It is estimated that 25% of all industrial accidents happen at the loading bay according to ISHN.

To mitigate the risk of accidents, organizations often invest in loading bay safety systems to mitigate the risk of accidents or injury at the loading bay. A variety of systems can be found on the market to prevent these incidents such as hook restraints, wheel chocks, blocking arms, and interlocking gladhand systems.

Logistics loading

Organizations often invest in these systems to avoid accidental injuries at the bay and spend anywhere from thousands to millions for a corporate or site wide roll out of one of these systems. Companies expect these systems to be a one-time investment that will prevent them from incurring the costs associated with a workplace injury or potential death.

What companies don’t expect is the high recurring maintenance costs associated with some types of loading bay safety systems.
Loading bay safety systems typically fall into the categories below and can vary in maintenance costs:

Automatic Wheel Restraints: Automatic wheel restraints such as powered chocks perform in a similar way to mechanical chocks; however, they are automatic and thus require no personnel in the yard to fit it. They are also integrated with other bay equipment which ensures that a safe process is enforced. Some systems are built in at sub ground level and therefore require significant installation effort, these can also be significantly affected by the elements. Systems that are installed above ground become an obstacle, especially in winter.

Like mechanical chocks, relatively high maintenance costs can be associated with these systems due to the number of moving parts, concrete work associated with damaged equipment, and the time associated with clearing snow/ice in harsh weather conditions.

Hook Restraints: Hook restraints can be manual or automatic systems that prevent drive aways at the loading bay. The hook restraint is installed at the bay door and when a truck is present, the hook is engaged and clamps onto the ICC bar of the vehicle to prevent the trailer to pull away from the bay prematurely.

Hook restraint systems can require significant maintenance due to the number of moving parts, hydraulics, damage to equipment, and high forces involved in restraining the vehicle at the loading bay.

Mechanical Chocks/Wheel Restraint: Mechanical chocks build upon the principle of manual chocks however they typically have additional permanent structure that they are fitted to which provides increased restraining force. If the permanent structure is higher than ground level, these can become an obstacle, especially in winter when ploughing the site. Ground level plates can also be affected by winter conditions as they become covered in snow/ice, making it difficult to fit the chock.

There can be high maintenance costs associated with this these types of restraint systems due to the number of moving parts, damage to permanent structures, and the time associated with clearing snow/ice in harsh weather conditions.

Manual Chocks: Manual chocks are common, simple wedges of material that are placed closely against a vehicles wheel to prevent accidental drive aways.

Chocks can be unreliable as they can easily be lost, stolen or break. Maintenance cost for manual chocks include complete product replacements and can vary due to the number of sets of chocks the facility owns.

Interlocking Gladhands: Gladhand devices are used to lock out the air brake of the trailer to prevent movement at the loading bay. When gladhand devices are interlocked with the bay door with fixed mounted trapped key interlock devices, they can create a sequential safety process that must be followed to load and unload the trailer that results in the prevention of drive aways at the loading bay.

Maintenance costs associated with these systems are minimal as the only maintenance required is the greasing of the gladhand coupling device once per year depending on the temperature of your facility’s location.

In the below chart, common loading bay safety systems are ranked from the highest to lowest associated maintenance costs for a facility with 25 loading bays over the time period of one year:

Logistics loading

As you can see, some safety solutions require more maintenance than others, resulting in high costs that cut into the facility’s profit. If you and your facility find yourself in the position of continually having to maintain components, replaced damaged equipment, order replacements, and spend entirely too much time and money on your loading bay’s safety system, it is time to reconsider your existing system.

Safety at the loading shouldn’t cause additional headaches, it should be simple, safe, and low maintenance. Lucky for you, there are other options than your existing solution that won’t cut into your facilities profit.


For more information about Salvo Loading Bay Safety Systems, speak to an expert today at sales@servtrayvou.com

Logistics in the Spotlight: The Safety Implications of the Current Supply Chain Backlog & Driver Shortage

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Lately, the logistics industry and supply chains have been receiving more media attention than ever, unfortunately it’s not for the best reasons. With headlines in the media such as “Supply Chain Crisis Risks Taking Global Economy Down With It”, “No End in Sight for the COVID-Led Global Supply Chain Disruption” and “Truck driver Shortage Worsens Supply Chain Backlog” there’s no wonder consumers are concerned.

In this article, we will address why the logistics industry is seeing this history making backlog, the impact it is having, what is being done to address the issue and the implications on safety.

Why the backlog?

For decades, the logistics industry has operated quietly in the background of the global supply chain, ensuring goods are transported from manufacturers to consumers dodging the spotlight, their impact going unnoticed. Why has the logistics industry recently been brought to light and the spotlight intensified through the media’s lens?

Growth in Ecommerce

Ecommerce is growing at a rapid pace and manufacturers, warehouses, and logistic companies are trying to keep up with consumer’s demand. An article in Inside Intelligence forecasts US retail ecommerce sales will grow 13.7%, reaching $908.73 billion in 2021. This increase in ecommerce has resulted due to many reasons and does not look to be slowing anytime in the future.

Covid – 19

The global covid-19 pandemic played a large part in many issues that are affecting logistics and the global supply chain. Consumers have been slowly changing their purchasing habits over the last few years due to convenience and time savings. However, the shift in ecommerce grew significantly due to the pandemic. The Inside Intelligence article goes on to say, “prior to the pandemic, we expected sales would grow just 12.8%.”  Due to social distancing guidelines and lockdowns many consumers couldn’t physically go to a store for months and in order for them to get what they needed it was necessary to begin shopping online. This increase in ecommerce is expected to continue with the global online retail volume predicted to grow at a rate of 15% until 2023, as stated in a Deloitte research article.

In addition to changing consumer behaviors fueled by the pandemic, entire work forces were contracting the virus resulting in whole facilities having to shut down operations, further intensifying the difficulty to meet consumer demands. Restrictions and guidelines differ across the globe on positive Covid -19 test protocol; these positive test results have a massive effect on the company, profits, and even the global supply chain. For example, China partly shut down the world’s third busiest port after a single port worker tested positive for the virus back in August. The Meidong Terminal , where the employee worked, processes 25% of the cargo that passes through the Ningbo-Zhoushan port. Even a partial shutdown of a terminal had a large impact on the global shipping line. While this shutdown may seem severe, it is a prime example of how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the supply chain.

Logistics loading

Decrease in International Air Traffic

With the global travel restrictions put in place during the pandemic, international air traffic became scarcer. Therefore, cargo typically stored in the cargo hold of passenger planes were halted in their travels, having a large impact in the transportation of international goods. This may not seem like it could have impacted the supply chain in a large way but in an article by the Global Economic Forum it states that 40% of annual global air cargo is typically transported in the cargo hold of passenger aircraft.” The article goes on to say, “The other 60% of annual global air cargo is usually moved around in dedicated freighter aircraft by freight forwarders and cargo operators. These cargo operations are primarily hub-focused and follow key trade routes, so are less comprehensive than passenger air networks.”

Labor shortage

The labor shortage is visible throughout the entire global economy and is the result of several factors. A news article by CNBC looks at what factors are contributing to the shortage globally. In the US, they believe that families have built up savings buffers and don’t have urgency to return to work. Additionally, it is believed that “there is a more permanent loss of workers driven by a large number of older workers taking early retirement. The thought of returning to the office and the daily commute may seem unpalatable for many people and with surging equity markets having boosted 401k pension plans, early retirement may seem a very attractive option.”

The article goes on to say that in the UK the labor shortage has been “exacerbated by Brexit, with many foreign workers that the country relied on going back home during the pandemic.”

In Europe the labor shortage can be seen as well: “while concerns about labor shortages have started later than in the U.S. and are less pressing than in the U.K., they are increasingly mentioned as a concern for businesses.”

The shortage of labor is impacting various industries such as agriculture, warehousing, and logistics. Farmers are having to let food go to waste because they do not have the help they need to process it in a timely manner. In an episode of The Guardian podcast, Today in Focus, they discuss a UK pig farmer who was not able to process his hogs at the correct age due to a lack of workforce. Unfortunately, this has been seen at meat processing plants throughout the globe and has contributed to meat shortages. Additionally, with agriculture margins so tight, farmers not only aren’t profiting off of their hard work, but they are losing money.

Warehouses are struggling to operate with reduced staff, adding to the supply chain backlog issue. There are simply not enough workforce resources to operate at their normal pace resulting in increased loading/unloading times at loading bays and trailers having to wait to be unloaded/loaded.

Not only are delays present at the warehouses but often delays are likely when transporting goods to the warehouse facilities due to the global driver shortage. Without the drivers, goods are not able to be transported to their end users further intensifying the backlog. “There are several reasons for the shortage” explains The Guardian podcast, “this has been an existing issue with an older workforce, and we’ve seen a lack of younger drivers entering this field.” In France too they are experiencing similar issues. A BFM Business article states, “In France there is a shortage of transportation professionals amounting to 50,000 people.” Making an existing issue worse, long training times, less than comfortable accommodations, extended periods away from family, and a global pandemic does not help recruit the new drivers needed to alleviate the issue. The BFM Business article continues, “Salaries and working conditions are making these trades are no longer attractive.”

The impact and what is being done about it

Unfortunately, the backlogs, shipping delays and supply chain constraints have had and will continue to have massive effects on consumers. Efforts have been made to address some of the effects, but will it be enough? Only time will tell.

New Staff

Take a drive through town and you’re bound to see several “We’re Hiring” signs posted on billboards and storefront windows in an effort combat the labor shortage that so many are experiencing.

Due to the difficulty of finding skilled workers, companies are often willing to hire workers with little or no experience. Hiring these new staff members may alleviate their labor issues for the time being but could potentially be creating another issue around workplace safety.

Low Stock

High levels of demand, labor shortages, and a lack of transportation means have resulted in low stock levels of goods throughout the globe. Food, supplies, metals and lumbar shortages have been present the last several months, at times worse than others, and very noticeable to consumers.

To resolve this issue government agencies have extended port operating hours around the clock to help elevate the backlog, for example in the US, the Biden administration has recently announced that two major shipping ports on the west coast will operate 24/7 to alleviate some of the bottleneck. The Los Angeles and Long Beach California ports account for about 40% of the US cargo container imports, according to an article in United Press International. In addition, the decreased HGV driver training time and other incentives are part of the effort to attract new drivers to the industry to transport goods to consumers. Wage increases have also been seen throughout the globe to attract individuals to work to kickstart the supply chain and ensure the goods arriving at the ports reach the consumers shelves.

port loading

Price Increases

Not only have items been hard to come by on the shelves but when consumers do happen to find what they are looking for, they will have to pay a higher price than what they used to.

A large reason for this is the increase in wages to help attract workers. However, when companies do raise wages, they are not able to absorb the costs within the company. Therefore, they need to raise prices for consumers to stay afloat.

A variety of other issues have led to increasing prices as well. An article from CNN states, “A growing list of crises on the supply side has exacerbated the commodities crunch. The Suez Canal blockage delayed goods shipments in March. Drought in South America has weighed on corn and sugar output. A deep freeze in Texas and the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack tightened the market for plastic and fuel, while India’s Covid-19 outbreak disrupted ports and supply chains.”  “It’s really been a perfect storm” says Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING.

Long Lead Times

As you can imagine, all the issues previously discussed are causing in long lead times around the globe. “The time it takes to ship an item from Asia to the United States has roughly doubled — 15 days by air, 90 by sea — during the pandemic” states Neel Jones Shah, global head of airfreight for Flexport, a logistics technology company.  “The backlog, coupled with labor shortages and pandemic-related shutdowns at every point in the process, has led to months-long waits for electronics, furniture and other imports. Shippers are scrambling to figure out how to get their goods to market in time for the Christmas selling season.”

If children are asking for that special gift for the upcoming holidays, now is the time to purchase. Lead times are increasing, and experts suggest that holiday shopping should happen earlier this year than ever. “There’s no logical way that everyone is going to find what they want in time for Christmas,” said Isaac Larian, chief executive of MGA Entertainment, the toy giant behind Rainbow High and such popular lines as L.O.L. Surprise and Little Tikes. “Everything is up the air.”

Implications on Safety

As you can see, the impact of the supply chain backlog and driver shortage is having a large effect on consumers. While governments and companies have made steps to try to address these issues, such as decreasing the time it takes to train HGV drivers and increasing the number of hours they can drive on the road before requiring a break, they could be creating an additional issue while trying to address another.

The labor shortage, particularly with truck drivers and warehouses personnel, coupled with the increase in the demand for ecommerce, could have massive implications on safety. With new drivers on the road being trained in a shorter amount of time, the number of risks increase for both the driver and people sharing the road. While the shorter training time opens up additional testing spots for individuals to take the test needed to become an HGV drive, it also means that learning crucial skills have been removed from the test. A BBC article states “The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is concerned that changes like removing the reversing maneuver from the test – which makes it shorter – and assessing it separately is a step backwards when it comes to safety.” Further in the article Andrew Malcom, chief executive of the UK based logistics company The Malcolm Group, states “In principle, I can understand what they’ve done, to try to unlock test dates. However, I am seriously concerned about the safety aspect. I think they’ve cut far too much out the process of the test – that’s my biggest worry.”

Truck on road

With limited labor resources and increased demand, coupled with the pressure facilities are continuously faced with to perform at high levels of throughput, safety risks emerge. To meet daily quotas, warehouse personnel need to work at a high speed which often results in shortcuts being made. The pressure to work more quickly, combined with drivers working long hours with less experience will have an impact on safety, especially at the loading dock. An article from Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN) states “Twenty-five percent of all industrial accidents occur at the loading dock. And for each accident that occurs, there are about 600 near-misses.” That statistic is prior to the increase in ecommerce demand, supply chain backlog, pandemic, and labor shortage, one can only imagine that statistic has increased since. To mitigate the risk of accidents at warehouse facilities between new HGV drivers and forklift operators, loading dock safety systems are strongly recommended to ensure clear communication during the loading and unloading process.

Conclusion

The supply chain backlog we are experiencing is the result of an increase in demand, a global pandemic, lack of transportation means, and a labor shortage all present at the same time. These issues have resulted in new staff, low stocked items, higher prices, and long lead times all which have implications on safety. While effort has been made by government leaders, agencies, companies, and individuals to reduce the effect these issues are having on the global economy, we may be seeing lasting safety implications as well as numerous other effects from the history making supply chain backlog and driver shortage of 2021 for years to come.

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

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Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 5 of 5

Overhead/Gantry Cranes – Trapped Key Interlock Safety Solutions

The analysis of accidents involving overhead cranes between 1981 and 2009 allowed to identify 227 accidents according to the National Institute of Research and Safety (INRS)

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: 33% Fall of material, 15% Inappropriate behaviour, 12% Uncontrolled access in a dangerous zone, 6% Operation of equipment at energised state

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.

On average, 71 working days are lost by accident at work. According to 2018 data from the Health Insurance – Occupational Risks, occupational accidents in the building and public works sector represented nearly 14% of all accidents at work, more than 16% of accidents that led to permanent disability, more than 19% of fatal accidents.

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 STI SOL access interlock installed on any and all access points safeguarding overhead crane perimeter

Step 2: Multiple Entry Points STI NX exchange box 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 STI ERTK electrical switch 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

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Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 4 of 5

Block & Tile Production – Trapped Key Interlock Safety Solutions

Coloring * Molding * Curing * Tumbling * Cubing * Palletising

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.

Don’t allow superior member injuries and in particular hand injuries to represent 57% of the workplace incidents because any of those which will result in a work stoppage will cost around 23870€!

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: Circuit control isolation STI RTK*E switch installed on control panel for block/tile production cell

Step 2: Residual Energy STI ERTK unit pre-set to allow for rundown time on equipment

Step 3: Multiple Entry Points STI NX for sequence control of access keys only after power isolation has occurred

Step 4: Safe Access XSOL installed on main production cell gate & 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

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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 maximising 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-energised.

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 IVC installed on main breaker for mixer

Step 2: Mechanical key exchange box TMEC to allow the release of several keys and ensure access to mixer with multiple entry points

Step 3: Safe Access STI SOL access lock installed on mixer lid

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

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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

Τhe 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.

In 2020, according to the MAYDAY-FORMATION website, there were 10 fatal accidents and 20 serious accidents in France related to confined spaces

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 MS Bolt Lock installed on main breaker for conveyor

Step 2: Multiple Entry Points STI TMEC key exchange box for access to multiple hopper access doors

Step 3: Safe Access MS30LTC* access lock installed on hopper doors

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

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Precast Concrete Industry – Application Series: 1 of 5

Gravel Pits: Conveyor Systems – Trapped Key Interlock Safety Solutions

In 2018, the French Health Insurance reported 144 workplace fatalities and more than 90 000 work accidents into the construction sector

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.

Construction sector injuries account for nearly 20% of all worker’s 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 ISO 19837/2018 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 MS Bolt Lock installed on main breaker for conveyor

Step 2: Multiple Entry Points STI TMEC key exchange box for access to multiple hopper access doors

Step 3: Safe Access XSOL access lock installed on hopper doors

Step 4: Controlled Power STI RTK*E electrical switch 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.

Minimising the Loss of Energy at the Loading Bay

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Minimising the Loss of Energy at the Loading Bay

Loading bays 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 bays 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 bay 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 bay doors that are in use several hours a day, if not 24/7. Every second the bay 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 bay doors and the high costs associated with it.  Loading bay seals and shelters are both relatively simple solutions that aid in temperature is control and minimise the amount of cool air or heat lost through the cracks of the trailer and bay. Seals are typically made from a foam material that compress when a trailer backs up to the bay during loading/unloading. This creates a suction like seal between the bay and trailer, limiting the cool air or heat escaping the warehouse.

Loading bay 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 bay door to be opened when a trailer is backed up to the bay and ready to be loaded/unloaded. For example, the Salvo Loading Bay Safety System ensures the bay 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 bay 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 bay.

SERV Trayvou Interverrouillage (STI Interlocks):

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

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

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

Data Center UPS Systems with TKI Solutions

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Data Center UPS Systems with TKI Solutions

Continuous, uninterrupted power is critical to our infrastructure. Everything we do is dependent on power, and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize more than even how our lives are impacted by the need for constant data and connectivity. Increased online businesses, home offices, and online schooling depend on power and connectivity to outside data centers and servers. When the potential for power outages, interruptions, or inconsistencies in power occur, it is important that our critical facilities, utilities, and data centers have an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) System and bypass in place to mitigate loss of power. UPS Systems will protect your facility, hospital, equipment, and/or data from damage, loss of information, and even loss of life.

During a loss of power situation, UPS systems become your facilities temporary power source until load can seamlessly transfer to the back-up power generator. Having a UPS system in your facility is one thing, but regular maintenance and testing on the UPS system is just as critical.  Regular testing and maintenance must be completed to be confident that when the system is needed, it will function properly.  During both the maintenance and operations of a UPS system, protecting workers and contractors from hazardous energy is imperative.  Implementing a trapped key interlock safety solution into these processes will guarantee the maintenance on the UPS system is properly and safely managed each time.

Application

In a data center, routine maintenance on UPS systems is scheduled. Maintenance to the system can include but is not limited to load bank testing of the generator to emulate the generator running in back-up mode during a power outage. During this maintenance process, the generator must be disconnected from the facility power. Let’s review an example of a typical UPS bypass system process when implemented safely with a trapped key interlock solution.

When the UPS system does not require maintenance, however service to the utility generator or backup generator is necessary, a similar trapped key interlock solution can be implemented on the Maintenance Bypass System (MBS) to ensure the system has been safely isolated. This requires the system to isolate power from the facility and safely access the breaker cabinet that is connected to the alternate power source; ie utility generator.

When designing UPS system for a data center facility, it is important to determine the Tier Standard for the facility. The Tier Standard defines critical components of a data center and provides an uptime metric based on the critical need of the data center operations.  A Tier 1 facility is classed as a non-critical facility and may implement a simple UPS system if any at all. On the other end of the tier standard is a tier 4 facility, which is classed as the highest level of critical need. A Tier 4 facility must have a minimum of 96 hours of power outage protection in times of need. In either situation, a trapped key interlock safety solution will ensure the safety of employees and equipment when performing critical maintenance and when putting UPS systems into operation during a dire power situation.

Conclusion

Whether you are implementing a trapped key interlock safety solution for a tier 1 facility or the most critical tier 4 facility, it is imperative to protect your personnel and equipment.  Designed and customized for each unique situation, a trapped key interlock solution will eliminate human error and ensure the safety of all involved.

STI has been delivering safety solutions for electrical systems since 1894.  Working closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) has enabled STI to produce interlocks designed specifically for use on the leading manufacturer’s breakers, isolators, and disconnects. STI’s comprehensive product offering of isolation and access interlock products for UPS applications ensures the right solution can be implemented for any level of critical power. Mounting provisions often supplied by OEMs enable the interlocks to be easily incorporated however, if a unique mounting provision is required, STI’s sales & engineering team can work to customize an interlock or provision to meet the requirements.

To discuss any UPS or bypass application requirement, please contact our team of trapped key interlock experts: communication@servtrayvou.com.