Food Manufacturer Makes Production Platform Safer
To keep up with consumer demand, a large food manufacturing facility made changes to its facility which helped to increase production. Safety was a consideration in the changes to the production process, especially due to the strict sanitation requirements to ensure the products are safe for consumption.
The new production processes changed some employee actions; some work platform locations changed, as well as the patterns in which they moved. During a walk through of the updated facility, a safety manager noticed a potential hazard on the platforms in which ingredients are blended. Large bags are placed onto the production platform drop zone, and employees then move, open and load bags into the mixers and hoppers on the platforms. Due to the changes made in the facility, the platform around the drop zone exposed workers to an opening when the material was removed. This was the case on a number of platforms, all of which needed new safety solutions.
The company had worked with Mezzanine Safeti-Gates for fall protection solutions in the past, so they reached out to the company again. An engineering executive visited the facility to help determine which type of safety solution was the best fit for each platform.
Because of the strict sanitation requirements, the solution would need to be made of stainless steel with continuous welds. The production platform is also a wash-down environment, so the system would require no tab boltholes as well as cap ends. The executive realized lanyards were not an option because employees had to be very mobile on the platform and the sanitation requirements did not allow for that kind of solution.
Additionally, each of the areas was unique and each safety solution would require a bit of custom design work to get the exact fit. One area had limited depth, another featured overhead piping, while another drop area was extra wide. The engineer took the details back to the team, knowing that a custom design would be required.
The team from Mezzanine Safeti-Gates concluded a customized version of its High Pallet Pivot safety gate design was the overall right solution for each of the areas in the facility. With multiple pivot points built into the model, it could be designed to fit within each area.
High Pallet Pivot safety gate models can accommodate loads up to 80 inches tall, and use dual, counterbalanced gates that are interconnected with a pivoting frameworks to maintain a safe environment on the work platform. The counterbalanced framework of the gates is configured to ensure when the ledge gate is open the rear-gate is closed, keeping employees away from the ledge while material is loaded onto the platform. When the rear-gate is lifted, the ledge gate closes, protecting employees while they move the material from the drop zone into the mixer or hopper.
The stainless steel custom High Pallet Pivot safety gates were fabricated without bolt holes in the tubing to comply with sanitation needs, and installed on each of the revised production platforms the manufacturer’s facility. The company is very satisfied that the new safety systems are working to keep employees safe from falling from the ledges of the platform during the production process.