Safety locked down

05 January 2017

Hörmann’s new Wheelblocker product tackles loading bay drive-aways and joins a site of products to tackle a broad range of loading bay safety issues.

Drive-away mistakes, which occur when a vehicle leaves the loading bay too early, are a major cause of accidents. Hörmann’s latest MWB Wheelblocker – a new piece of safety equipment that locks lorries into the loading bay – has been designed to prevent such accidents.

The leading door manufacturer made the decision to design the MWB Wheelblocker after the Health and Safety Executive revealed that 15% of all workplace transport injuries happen during the unloading and loading process, particularly when a vehicle leaves the loading bay too early.

The MWB Wheelblocker allows loading bay workers to manually lock lorries and trailers into place, so that they can’t move until the process is complete. A rotating arm lock, fold-out support pedestal and operating lever detects the working position of the wheels, and an advanced LED sensor flashes green once the vehicle has been secured. The status of the lorry is then displayed in the hall, along with a key switch that provides an override function for swap containers.

Commenting back in November, David O’Mara, marketing manager at Hörmann, said: “As loading bay specialists, we understand the hazards that are present during the loading process, and we’re committed to reducing them by creating innovative safety features, such as the Wheelblocker. The Wheelblocker is a vital product for any warehouse and we hope to see a dramatic reduction in loading bay accidents by introducing it to the UK market.”

Differing dock specifications, vehicles, visiting drivers and lack of direct communication between driver and warehouse staff, are just some things that can contribute to potential problems. There are several products that can help ensure work is carried out safely in loading bays and hazards are prevented. Here is what Hörmann has to offer:

Safety light grille
Hörmann’s safety light grille has been designed to eliminate hazards when passing under spiral and high-speed doors. The non-contact safety device, which is incorporated into the door frame, uses light beams to constantly monitor the door opening. If the beams are broken, the door will stop moving to prevent any impact damage. It was also recognised by SHD Logistics at the end of last year and won a Design4Safety award.

Light guide
When visibility is impaired due to heavy precipitation or even the dark, Hörmann’s light guide, attached to both sides of the dock leveller, helps guide lorry drivers into place. To ensure efficient sealing and prevent damage to vehicles, ramps and dock shelters, Hörmann’s wheel guides can be installed to support drivers when docking.

Buffers and protection bollards
To help prevent expensive collision damage from occurring outside of buildings and driveway dock shelters, Hormann offers a range of buffers and protection bollards. Its buffers are designed to absorb the dynamic force of a lorry during docking, and its protection bollards can be used indoors and outdoors to help prevent damage whilst forklifts are loading.

Signal systems and warning lights
Installing warning lights and signal systems, such as traffic lights, can be a simple way of indicating to drivers when it is safe (green) or not safe (red) to move a vehicle. Warning lights inside the warehouse are installed to inform warehouse staff when it is safe to open the loading bay doors and commence loading or unloading the vehicle.

These are just some products that Hörmann offers its customer’s loadings bays. However, it’s not just product innovation that’s helping to improve loading bay safety. Hörmann has also invested in training this year to ensure that its products are properly installed, maintained and serviced. As well as working directly with end users, Hörmann hosts a variety of training sessions and seminars at its UK headquarters on all technical aspects, from specification and fitting to maintenance and repair, as well as at its new training and exhibition centre in Germany.