REGARDLESS OF THE INDUSTRY, SAFETY IS THE MOST CRUCIAL PART OF ANY WAREHOUSE OPERATION
Question : Tell us about what goes behind designing a mfg warehouse and the selection criteria for storage systems.?
Answer : Offering an 'exceeds expectations' experience to the customer is the order of the day. There is a paradigm shift in consumer purchase behavior post-pandemic, which demands quick response time across every touch point of the value chain. In order to fulfill that, it is a top priority for any manufacturing warehouse to maintain a flow-oriented layout (FOL). This willl help them achieve smooth and safe material flow across the warehouse space right from inbound material to outbound. The selection criteria for storage solutions begin with the material flow, type of product to be stored, and weight of the product. Once the layout and material details are identified, selecting the right storage system is the next crucial step. Based on the load-bearing capacity and pallet type, a suitable Racking / Shelving system requirement is designed. To ensure the safety of people and goods, highly combustible goods (eg: Gasoline, batteries, etc.) are stored at ground level. Once the design requirements are put in place, a formal RFQ process will be initiated with the shortlisted storage solution suppliers.
Question : In mfg industry, how important is safety and what are all the important considerations in warehouse to ensure people and product safety?
Answer : Regardless of the industry, safety is the most crucial part of any warehouse operations. In manufacturing, we go the extra mile to ensure safety of people and the products. We ensure that all our storage systems and material handling equipments meet the highest level of safety standards. Taking it one step further, a second level of safety is provided by adding safety components, mesh claddings, pallet back stoppers, kick plates, being some of them. All potential unsafe and hazardous areas undergo frequent checks.
Question : What is your organisation's approach to safe warehousing practices? Please elaborate.
Answer : In our organisation, we do not compromise on safety! All our warehouse employees undergo mandatory safety trainings which are renewed every quarter. A safety certification training has been added as a part of our employee learning program to ingrain safe warehouse practices as a culture. We have a highly trained "Emergency Response Team" to provide the first level of knowledge in case of any hazardous incident. This team functions round the clock to ensure safety within the premises. In order to identify the damage or misalignment of storage system, we have beam misalignment detectors which helps us to rectify the defect before any accident occurs. Additionally, automated safety systems like fire alarms and smoke detectors help in taking immediate action in case of any accident.
Question : How important are internal audits in ensuring safety of your storage system? Please elaborate
Answer : Our organisation has rolled out multiple review mechanisms and feedback methods to understand safety-related callouts from team members. The stability level of all the storage systems and material handling equipments are audited periodically, and get certified for usage. The audit results are recorded and analyzed in comparison with previous audit reports. A "safety-certified" tag will be provided for every system along with the next audit date to notify that the system is suitable for usage. In case of any occurrence of an accident, a root cause analysis will be carried out to identify the reason. Once identified, corrective actions will be taken. All our process SOPs are audited and reviewed perodically to reassure the process flow, and to avoid any non-reported incidents.
Question : In the space of storage and material handling please mention some notable efforts taken by your organisation to ensure people and product safety.
Answer : The world is moving towards digitalisation, and so are we! We have developed a centralized digital security system that connects all warehouse movements from a single point. The automation features of this system include AI-interfaced barrier control cameras, thermal scanning of human movements, automatic fire detection etc. These features allow the system to alert the warehouse ground team before any unforseen event could occur. To avoid multi-personal access of the material handling equipments, an individual, operator-based access card is provided to improve the safety of the system.
Question : Is the supply chain evolving to meet your expectation? How do you look at vendor preparedness on safety parameters?
To attain a win-win situation, it is important for vendors to be in constant touch with their customers even after the sale is done. We urge our vendor teams to periodically visit our premises and check the performance of products supplied by them, be it material handling equipment or storage solution. The entire eco system of vendorcustomer cluster should work together for an everlasting safe working environment.
Question : How do you see automation aiding warehouse operations in mfg industry?
Answer : In recent days the adoption of automation is increasing in a rapid way. Internet of things (IOTs) and artificial intelligence (AI) driven automation enable businesses to improve speed and accuracy of warehouse operations. Along with predictive analytic tools, inventory can be managed better by replenishing and optimising the levels. Eventhough automation is helping in enhancing the safety and cost saving, seamless process operation flow is yet to be achieved completely in manufacturing sector. There is a long way to go in embracing these technologies which will assist companies in due course to realise a more profitable scenario and organisations like Godrej Storage Solutions have a big role to play.
Question : HOW DO WE ENSURE A “SAFE PROJECT SITE”
Answer : Every working individual has a family dependent on them, which awaits their safe return back home. It is no different whether they are a workman, or a manager. It’s our prime duty to ensure a safe working environment for them at the project site. At Godrej Storge Solutions, safety starts right from an empty site. First, we ensure that our rack installation work begins inside a site only when the civil work is completed on all four sides, and there is a roof in place. This eliminates any and all effects of weather Eand the wind on tall racking structures as they get built up. The site work starts with a “Toolbox Talk” by the site safety officer. Safe working methods are discussed in detail with the Installation crew, and their buy-in for adherence taken. The safety officer systematically inspects and ensures all the tools, tackles, gadgets, electrical, and mechanical machinery are safe for use. Necessary statutory compliances are made mandatory, and workmen are permitted inside the work area only with safety accessories. These accessories include safety shoes, helmets, reflector jackets and double lanyard safety harness for people working at heights. Necessary barricading of Work-in-Progress areas, lifeline, safety nets, fall arresters are also provided wherever required, as per norms. Necessary work method statements are also provided and explained to the work force to ensure safe and quality workmanship. Special training is provided for people who work at heights for climbing and descending, using safety belt latch hooks.
Behind the Scenes
We also deploy qualified safety officers and site supervisors at all our major sites. They also attend customer-conducted safety meetings at the site. Risks across every activity at the site is analysed and mitigation plans are worked out, HIRA documents are prepared, and followed.
Site safety plan is worked out based on the below principles
Necessary safety is also ensured during truck unloading, movement (both manual & mechanical) storage and retrieval of materials. Guidelines are issued to ensure material is stacked as per stacking norms and in sequence of installation requirement. In cases of low light intensity inside sites, we ensure task lighting with proper wire management, and necessary safety precautions. These include industrial sockets, certified and appropriate electrical cables, ELCB mounted distribution boards, and other allied certified equipment. In case of large and bare project sites, we ensure adequate sanitation facilities for the work force, rest rooms, availability of clean and safe drinking water, and other basic facilities as per appropriate norms. First aid kits are maintained at site offices for all major sites. Escalation matrix with contact details is displayed at appropriate places in the site. Necessary travel arrangements are also made available for workmen for safe travel to sites from their places of stay. All covid related protocols as stipulated by the health authorities from time to time are strictly adhered to. At GSS, we believe that only a safe working environment will be a productive one. A win-win for everyone; The customer and Us.
PROTECT YOUR MATERIAL FROM FALLING in Warehouses…..
Pallet back stopper is designed to prevent pallets carrying materials from being accidentally pushed off the back of a rack during loading or unloading operation. The stopper ensures proper placement of the pallet on the loading level by restricting the movement of the pallet beyond 100mm towards the rear side of the racking system.
Pallet back stopper also helps to maintain the required flue space between the rows of racks that allow for ventilation and fire suppression. Appropriate to use in case of single-face racks. Made of 60x40 mm tube and 1.6mm thick pipe. Both the stopper ends are secured with caps.
Mesh cladding helps to prevent loose products from sliding, overturning, or toppling off the racking system. Mesh cladding on the back and sides of the racking system prevents accidental fall of SKUs into the open space which can potentially cause injury.
Helps in preventing unauthorized access to materials.
CLEAR AISLE SPACE FOR EMERGENCY EVACUATION
An aisle space can be understood as the space between the racks. This allows the free movement of machineries, people and material on the floor. Whether it is working aisle or the transfer aisle, it is very much essential to provide enough space for people movement during the emergency. An optimal aisle space will provide huge contribution to a seamless warehouse operation flow. In warehouses, movement of handling equipment like trolleys and bins can be hampered if items are scattered on the floor, or machine placements clutter the passageway. Clearly marked, empty passageways, allow handling equipment to easily pass through, saving time and energy. Hence, every workstation on the floor should keep its containers within a well-defined boundary line, ensuring they do not encroach the allotted aisle space. Also, clearly marked and empty aisle spacing provides safe pathways in cases needing emergency evacuations. The minimum permitted aisle clearance in terms of racking system must be 1200mm, excluding the space for MHE movement .The same must be 600mm for shelving system, excluding the space provided for order picker or trolley movement.
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