Convex Mirror on Shelf for Warehouse Safety

Proactive Planning for Intersection and Blind Spot Safety in Warehouses

Designing and constructing a new warehouse or expanding an existing facility is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and considerable investment. While architects focus on the building’s size and utility needs, decisions about machinery, fixtures, storage racking, and facility support areas can be more challenging. It’s essential to balance cost-saving measures with investing in quality solutions that will benefit the operation in the long run.

One critical aspect of facility safety often overlooked during the planning process is intersection and blind spot safety. Over the past 18 months, I have been contacted to help address this issue at multiple distribution centers nationwide. Some facilities were older, while others were relatively new, lacking adequate safety measures for intersections and blind spots. Forklift operators were left to sound horns when approaching these dangerous areas, which is not a sufficient solution.

The High Cost of Reactive Safety Measures

Unfortunately, one company learned the hard way when an employee lost a limb in a collision between two moving vehicles at an intersection. The national safety director recalled seeing various safety options at trade shows and contacted our company to develop an intersection and blind spot protection program for their facilities.

This single accident likely exceeded the expense of implementing a comprehensive mirror solution across all their distribution centers. Proactive planning can help protect your products, machinery, and, most importantly, your staff. Implementing a complete safety plan can result in significant cost savings.

Practical Solutions for Intersection and Blind Spot Safety

Facility managers and safety directors are responsible for ensuring the safety of their operations and seeking assistance from facility safety professionals. If your safety distributor doesn’t offer solutions, ask them to find the best answers. Here are some basic guidelines for using mirrors:

  • Domes and convex mirrors: One inch of mirror diameter provides approximately one foot of viewing distance (e.g., a 36″ mirror offers a 36′ view)
  • Four-way intersections: Hang mirrored domes with the bottom 1-2 feet above the highest moving forklift or load, considering the mounted dome’s height when evaluating viewing distances
  • Three-way intersections: Use half domes or dome mirrors mounted at eye level, flat against the wall at the end of an aisle

Engage Your Team for Optimal Safety

One of the best sources for identifying hazardous areas in your building is your forklift operators and pedestrians who regularly walk the aisles. Taking the first step toward your safety plan will build confidence among your staff and be recognized by your insurance provider and OSHA visitors.

Remember, trying to save on prevention early on can cost you more in the long run. Invest in proactive safety measures to protect your employees, products, and business.

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