In 2017, the craft distillery industry grew 30% according to the American Craft Spirits Association. Also, researchandmarkets.com notes that the US craft spirits market is expected to reach revenues of more than $20 billion by 2023, growing at an impressive average of 32% each year from 2018-2023.
The growth in distilleries and variety of beverages has added pressure and complexity to beverage distribution. Inventory spaces that were once dedicated to a single type of beverage are now occupied by several types. Changes like these affect how beverages are picked, and in some cases create new hazards for workers.
Pallet flow mezzanines are common in beverage distribution as a high density means to store a variety of products, while serving as an efficient way for workers to pick individual cases. The systems are designed so workers can pick from the end of each pallet flow lane, at the center of the system.
The new complexity in the beverage industry means lanes once dedicated to house a single product now may house several. This practice requires workers to walk up the pallet flow lanes to pick products which can then expose them to fall hazards. OSHA requires workers to be protected from fall hazards if they are to work 6 feet or closer to a fall edge of 48 inches or more.
Recent falls in the news highlight the need to stay proactive, not just in distribution centers, distilleries, and bottling plants, but in all rapidly growing companies. We recommend evaluating these three options:
1) LedgeGuard for low height situations where pallets and materials can be placed at height while maintaining a closed gate for people.
2) Pallet Flow Gates for one-way pallet flow gate for rolling racks or other material transportation.
3) Rollback Safety Bay Gates and Rollback Safety Gates use existing pallet racking to mount, or integrated frame mounts so pallets and materials can be placed at height while maintaining a closed gate for people.
These solutions meet the relevant OSHA requirements, 1910.29(b) and 1926.502(b). Your best bet is to engage one of our safety team members and we can help you determine the best solution for your operations. Our goal is to keep your people safe, and to keep your operations running. We’ll help you integrate safety into your operations in a way that accelerates growth, while being responsible.