Having worked in the processing industry for a number of years, it has become evident to us that there is a correct way and a wrong way to build walk-overs.
The type built and the design varies a lot in the industry today.
We see a number of cross-overs that require the person to climb a set of steps, as on a ladder.
Some times as many as four rungs are there to get to the top of the platform.
This type of cross over requires a person to use both hands to climb, cross, turn around and descend the rungs on the other side.
There is a certain amount of danger involved here as this requires both hands to be used for climbing the rungs. This type of cross-over has the potential to cause injury. There are also those that are built with steps built in so crossing over is quite easily done.
The person simply ascends and descends the steps not requiring the use of their hands even though they should always be advised to use the hand rails.
Whenever it is possible, use the cross-over with steps, it will cut down on injuries and increase the use of the cross-over.
The second thing we see is little or no protection to what you are crossing over.
There are some with drip pans that need to be cleaned daily, these pans are hard to dismantle and hard to clean, complicating the cleaning process.
We would like to suggest installing a simple V-shaped device under you cross-over and over the conveyor in order to deflect all of the particles and moisture that falls off of boots and shoes.
These are mounted in solid and washdown is easily done as the water just runs off.
Access to the bottom of the ‘V’ for wash down is better than a pan as it is suspended off the floor and attached to the cross-over.
Before you build or order your new cross-over, put some thought into what options are available to choose from!
The first time I saw a maintenance technician put one hand on the edge of conveyor and use it to brace himself while he jumped and swung his feet up and over the conveyor, I thought I had seen everything.
On the one hand, I understood his desire for efficiency by not wanting to take the time to walk around the line. On the other hand I knew it represented a casual attitude toward power equipment. But even worse was the message that it sent to the other workers about safety.
I cannot help but wonder if something like that had happened at a meat plant where the head of maintenance called me one day when he was in a state of shock.
One of his cleanup crew members had been seriously injured when he crawled inside a large, moving conveyor to clean it. He wanted my company to design guards to retro fit onto his large conveyors. No problem.
But I also recommended our custom stairwells and walk-overs. They promote efficiency and send the right message about a company’s commitment to safety.
There will never be an Olympic event called Production Line Hurdles so don’t let your workers practice it!
We design and build stairwells and walk-overs according to rise and run requirements, as well as to custom fit your needs.
They are stainless steel to stand up to harsh environments. The grit top fiberglass grating steps make sure that when your workers keep their feet where they belong that they will be rewarded with sure, solid footing.