Your loading docks are the hub of your warehouse operations. With inventory constantly coming in and out, it’s one of the busiest sections of your facility. However, it’s also the one most exposed to the elements — which poor loading dock conditions can allow into your warehouse.
Having the proper dock seals or shelters on your loading dock doors is vital to keeping these outside elements exactly where they belong: outside. Without loading dock seals or shelters, excess wear and tear from daily exposure to environmental conditions can disrupt operations in your warehouse facility — resulting in increased costs, decreased productivity, and numerous safety concerns.
Here are five major ways how dock doors with the proper seals or shelters can protect your warehouse, its inventory, and your employees from adverse environmental conditions.
Keep out Pests
Tight dock seals can help keep unwanted pests, such as wasps, rodents, and mosquitoes from entering your warehouse through its dock doors. Not only are these bugs and pests annoying, they can present a real danger to your employees. After all, you certainly wouldn’t want a warehouse worker falling from the top of a machine because he’s trying not to get stung by a wasp or swatting at a fly.
Additionally, certain species can spread pest-borne illnesses that may infect your workers if they’re exposed to them or bitten. Minimizing the number of pests that can enter your warehouse with proper dock seals can be an effective way to keep your employees happier and healthier.
Overcome Rainy Season
Using additional dock equipment as a part of your loading dock design can help you conquer the high winds and wet conditions of the rainy season. Even with slip-resistant boots and wet floor warning signs, accidents can still happen if water is able to pool on your warehouse floors. Therefore, this should be an important part of your warehouse safety initiatives.
By covering the back end of the trailer to create a seal, dock seals and shelters can keep the worst of the rain outside of your warehouse when workers are loading and unloading inventory. This helps to drastically improve employee safety in your loading dock. Additionally, high winds during a particularly bad storm can blow through dock areas, but sealing loading dock doors with dock seals and shelters can minimize the risk of workers being blown off of their feet or inventory flying out of your warehouse.
Be Prepared for Hurricanes
A regular afternoon thunderstorm can already increase the risk of injuries in your warehouse — but hurricanes are an even bigger threat. During a hurricane, your loading dock area will be your first line of defense against high winds, rain, and possibly even flood water. Warehouse dock doors are especially vulnerable since they’re a structural weak point. This means that hurricane-force winds could cause your doors or walls to collapse. If there are high winds picking up outside objects and throwing them around, they could end up crashing into your warehouse’s walls or doors as well.
Additionally, if the dock door seal around the warehouse door isn’t tight against water, it could easily flow inside. That’s why having sturdy, well-maintained, and properly sealed industrial doors in the loading dock is necessary. It can make all the difference when it comes to keeping hurricane-strength wind and water out of your warehouse!
Maintain Climate Controls
Dock seals can help to keep the climate-controlled air in a warehouse actually inside and the warm, humid air outside where it belongs. If you facility is located somewhere with hot and humid environmental conditions, like Florida, this air flow issue becomes very important. A working environment that is too warm can cause employees to become dehydrated and machines to overheat, resulting in reduced productivity and increased health concerns.
Sudden changes in heat and humidity can even cause damage to your warehouse’s stored products. For example, in a lumber distribution facility, the moisture content of wood can cause it to warp or even rot if the local weather changes. Condensation from humid air can even cause some metal objects to rust. Having the proper dock equipment for climate control not only protects sensitive products from sudden temperature and humidity changes, but can prevent you from losing money on powering your warehouse’s air conditioning system.
Stop the Spread of a Fire
A loading dock fire can be devastating, putting your inventory, motive power equipment, and employees at serious risk. While all buildings are required to have proper fire safety tools to keep a fire from spreading until further emergency services arrive, one additional fire safety tool you should heavily consider installing is a loading dock fire door.
These kinds of fire doors are designed to automatically close in the event of a fire or other emergency. This additional layer of protection to your dock doors can minimize the spread of a fire if one does occur, protecting both the valuable equipment in your warehouse and employees.
Do you need help finding the right industrial dock door systems for your warehouse operations? Or, would you like to take advantage of our planned maintenance services to help further minimize the impact of environmental conditions on your dock doors? Contact Southern States Enterprises today for assistance!