Safety Features Are Required

Safety Features Are Required

Lift Tables: Safety Features Are Required

Container and pallet handling devices help by presenting items in an ergonomic position for operators. OSHA data reveals that operators that perform over 95 percent of normal operations within the safe lifting zone (shoulders to waist) are both more productive and experience less lost time injuries.

Alfacon Solutions has been helping clients specify the correct container and pallet handling devices for more than 40 years. The team of qualified engineers has the technical ability and experience to properly recommend the best ergonomic solution for every application from distribution centers to manufacturing plant floors. Engineers travel to customers’ facilities and perform a complete ergonomic evaluation, saving both time and money.

Many industrial businesses these days seem to be acquiring more and more equipment that makes working in the industry easier and safer. Whether it’s made safer by installing an lel gas detector or giving employees safety clothing, safety has to be a priority. Nowadays, there are lots of safety products on the market to help keep all employees safe whilst at work. For example, accessing higher levels in a warehouse can be unsafe at times, however, with the introduction of mobile platforms, the job is now much safer. These platforms allow industrial workers to stay safe whilst they reach for higher equipment in the warehouse. They are useful pieces of industrial equipment, however, warehouse managers should really consider installing a self closing safety gate to make sure no workers experience a fall. It’s really important for warehouses to make sure all unprotected openings, like these platforms, are secured with safety gates to make sure people don’t fall off them.

Some of the safety products which may be added to a customized or standard lift table are much easier to add at the factory than in the field. It is wise to consider safety needs upfront when selecting products. Alfacon engineers ask helpful safety questions that will drive the selection of the best industrial lift table for the manufacturer’s needs.

Simple questions such as, “Is a toe guard required” can make a big difference in safety. This is very common in pit mounted applications. Customers can select toe sensors or a beveled toe guard. Lift table toe guards can include an audible alarm or flashing light required when the lift table is in motion. Increasingly, Alfacon Solutions’ engineering team sees safety departments requiring this feature.

Other safety concerns recently heard during MODEX 2018 in Atlanta included whether an anti-skid finish on the platform was needed. This is common when operators are working from the platform especially in oily and greasy environments. Safety experts also recommended oem radio solutions to ensure that heavy machinery is operating as safely as possible.

Most lift tables come standard with a push-button pendant or foot-operated switch. Other options include wall-mounted push buttons and maintained controls. Each has advantages, but customers must identify the preference based on process and throughput. The table can also be controlled by other means such as a PLC. This may require additional hardware and outputs.

If the lift table be installed in a pit, additional options such as bellows guarding and lifting eyes may be required. Customers must also take into consideration the size and depth of the pit when selecting the industrial lift table.

Selecting a lift table is not an easy process and quite often multiple types of lift table units may fit the requirements of a customer’s application.

safety feature image

John Murdoch
John Murdoch is CEO of Alfacon Solutions Ltd., based in Canada. Murdoch is a thought-leader in both the manufacturing and materials handling sectors. Leveraging more than a quarter century of experience, Murdoch brings a unique perspective to engineered material handling solutions and the role of automation. Murdoch can be reached at