Improving Employee Comfort Can Improve Your Warehouse Productivity
Can warehouse doors improve efficiency and employee retention?
Staff in a large manufacturing facility or warehouse will tell you that temperature control in these areas is commonly forgotten and that the working conditions can often be uncomfortable during the cold winters and/or hot summer days.
Whether a warehouse has open doorways for ventilation or access purposes during the cold winter months, the draft coming through the facility can be significant. Worksafe suggests that 'for a given combination of temperature and wind speed, the wind chill index corresponds roughly to the temperature that one would feel in a very light wind'.
For example, a temperature of -5°C and a wind speed of 20 km/h give a wind chill index of -12. This means that, with a wind of 20 km/h and a temperature of -5°C", is a low risk of frostbite for most people. Download the Worksafe Handbook here: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/transport-logistics-and-warehousing
The Importance of Warehouse Temperature Control
Temperature control is not only important for staff safety and comfort but may also improve their efficiency at work, retention and general happiness.
For ventilation purposes, WorkSafe often suggests that workshop warehouse doors should be fully open at all times. If weather conditions prevent this, the work must be evaluated and tasks such as spray painting, which could result in a buildup of fumes, should be postponed. With open doorways, there can be other nuances to deal with such as dust, pests and drafts, but in particular, drafts can become rather a thorn in the side of employees and create a very uncomfortable working environment.
Some of the hazards faced when working in a manufacturing environment include:
- Petrol containers and gas cylinders
- Spray paints
- Welding equipment
- Carbon monoxide
- Exhaust emissions from equipment such as forklifts. The exhaust emission levels in the tail pipe of the forklift can be substantial, when a number of forklifts are working together in one area where there is little air flow.
- Ensure electric or LPG forklifts to be used in poorly ventilated places are identified from those not to be used in these areas (e.g. signage, colour).
- Ensure the engine of the forklift is turned off when not in use to avoid unnecessary build-up of exhaust fumes.
All of these potential hazards mean that good ventilation is absolutely essential not only for the safety and health of workers but also for their comfort.
Obviously warehouse doors cannot be left open during the winter to assist with ventilation without affecting your workers' comfort. That makes your choice of warehouse door critical. Here's what to look for.
Why your warehouse doors are crucial for controlling temperature
Automation: Manufacturing facilities and workshops face a number of challenges around their doorways. While steel roller shutters are common (since they are low cost and large enough to allow for vehicles to come and go), keeping such a large door open throughout the day can become uncomfortable for workers either in summer or winter. Consider the advantages of a Rapid Roller Door where the doorway has a barrier throughout the day but is automated top open and close straight after the vehicle / pedestrian/forklift has passed through so that the door is not open for longer than it needs to be.
Insulation: Another factor is that steel roller shutters – even when they are kept closed – provide no insulation against outside weather conditions. Steel roller shutters are renowned for absorbing heat in the summer and transferring winter's chill inside, providing no insulation value at all.
Maintenance and Repairs when a door is impacted by vehicles or forklifts: The cost and downtime related to a roller shutter when it is impacted by a vehicle is significant. A well designed Rapid Roller Door such as the Movidor High Speed Door can handle minor knocks, with its soft bottom edge and will automatically re-insert itself back into the guides with no downtime needed.
Rapid roller doors provide a very useful tool for warehouses and manufacturing facilities, to allow quick and convenient access in and out of site but also automated closure prevents behind delivery vehicles etc, while allowing good sight lines to the outside/inside, to see oncoming deliveries, traffic etc.
An insulated alternative to steel roller shutters
If you are looking for well insulated sectional doors; compact sectional doors are a great alternative to steel roller shutters or conventional sectional doors.
The compact door is a sectional door which needs no intrusive overhead support rails to be attached to the roof structure, and utilises a unique folding action to push the door leaves into a compact space above the doorway.
Compact sectional doors have been successfully implemented in various environments including car showrooms, factories and warehouses, cold storage, wash bays, processing lines, emergency department including ambulance and fire department, arenas and pavilions, loading docks, marinas, large agricultural buildings and depots.
Talk to us about selecting your ideal warehouse doors
If you would like to learn more about the various doors available for your facility, contact Remax Doors online or call us on 1800 010 221.