In vertical warehouses, the one and only law that must never be forgotten is the law of gravity. For personal safety as well as for the integrity of equipment and goods, Mr. Newton must not be forgotten!
Technical savings in safety against the law of gravity are very expensive and can cause fatal accidents.
At Warak, safety and the practicalities of day-to-day operations in vertical warehousing have always been at the heart of all projects. Investment in safety has a much quicker return than we often think.
The Köerber stacker cranes we use in all our projects are designed to the best safety standard available on the market. Both at Warak and Köerber, we know very well that the European law EN528:2008 applicable to stacker cranes allows to build “forklift” machines without the need of having any dynamic parachute system. Thus, as long as the operators cannot ride on top of the stacker crane with a safety pin device in the highest position, the regulation is already complied with. This is where the roguishness of unscrupulous manufacturers comes in, who, in order to save money and be cheaper, consider the stacker crane as a forklift!
If we treat the stacker cranes for large loads as if they were a forklift without the possibility of the operator being mounted on top, we can save on an expensive safety system, similar to that of a lift for people. The problem lies in the actual daily operation of the machine, where it is often necessary to get on it, be it for cleaning, warehouse audits, maintenance or any other reason. At that point, we force the operator to get on a device with many limitations if he wants to follow safety procedures correctly.
Because it has so many limitations as a “forklift” (for example, the forklift type device forces the operator to climb the stairs because the platform cannot carry people), some safety measures are overlooked, the operators climb up and that is where the accident can happen. Our customers are aware of the actual use that operators make of stacker cranes and the safety environment in which they work on a daily basis. At Köerber and Warak we will never get into this kind of borderline situation for a few thousand Euros because our priority is always people’s safety.