How does your warehouse look? Is it cramped with more stock than you can handle, where staff struggle to go about their daily duties with ease? Well that’s no good is it?!
A business can’t run efficiently if the organisation and planning behind the scenes isn’t optimised to allow staff to work effectively. Think about it, would you be able to concentrate at a desk and work hard if it was littered in distractions? …No? We didn’t think so!
Well, welcome to the world of mezzanine flooring where more and more companies come to solve their space issues in the workplace. Despite these excellent solutions coming to the rescue for many businesses across the country, you must ensure to follow specific requirements to ensure safety in the warehouse too. Take a look at our blog below to ensure that your mezzanine floor isn’t destined to fail…
How Can I Benefit From Mezzanine Flooring?
As mention above, many businesses are turning to the use of mezzanine flooring to maximise space in factories and warehouse. After all they are an ideal solution to maximise the flooring area without the hassle and extravagant expense of extensions or relocation.
Built properly, mezzanine flooring can not only maximise space and allow your warehouse to run more efficiently but it can allow you to expand by making better use of redundant space above your head.
This cost effective solution can be designed to meet your specific requirements whether you need to accommodate additional offices, increased retail space, or storage areas. At a fraction of the cost to alternative solutions mezzanine levels are easily installed into a wide range of commercial, industrial and retail environments with minimal disruption.
However, as companies continue to invest in these solid systems, new safety concerns have been thrown into the mix. Just like the requirements needed to ensure pallet racking safety it is vital that you understand the safety regulations regarding a mezzanine floor, how to spot potential problems and of course how to act on them.
Have You Moved New Premises?
If you have recently moved into a new premises already installed with a mezzanine level, you may have thought that your luck was in. You’ve just moved into a building that has already made complete use of all the available space after all. Perfect!
However, you need to make sure that the mezzanine floors are suitable to use for your business. It may have previously been used as an office space and could create a very dangerous work area for industrial usage. You will therefore need to ensure that your floor is structurally sound and fit for purpose as alterations to loading characteristics may be required. You should seek expert advice from the supplier immediately where you can be assisted in ensuring that the current flooring isn’t ill-fated. An application for building regulation approval may be needed and possibly planning permission in some cases. Mezzanine floors are very durable, but they aren’t indestructible…so don’t ever take the risk!
Working at Height
When working at height like on mezzanine floors the law requires employers to ensure a number of requirements are fulfilled. Obviously the purpose of the regulations are to prevent death and injury at work due to falling from a significant height.
Whether you are an employer or someone who is in control of any work at height activity you need to ensure the day to day running of the business is properly planned. You also need to be sure it is supervised and carried out by competent staff. This will include ensuring that the right equipment for working at height is used whilst assessing the risks involved. Employees have legal duties to take reasonable care of themselves and others who could potentially be affected by their actions. It is ultimately down to you as their employer to ensure they comply with health and safety duties.
These rules require employers to ensure a number of elements such as:
All work at height is properly planned and organised
The risks from working at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used
Equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained
Inspection in the Warehouse
As states above all equipment in the warehouse should be inspected on a regular basis. This includes your mezzanine floor too. Whether you assign this to a member of staff or employ an external company, you cannot ignore your mezzanine flooring.
If you should notice any visual defects such as dents, buckles, tears to any beams, stanchion or floor joist it must be acted upon quickly to avoid further damage or risk to employees. The same also goes for any evidence of excessive loading damage to the decking.
Remember that mezzanine flooring installation do not contain any user repairable parts and you should never alter the structural steel framing without reference to the supplier or qualified structural engineer!
Don’t forget to make sure you and your employees are aware of the uniform load and maximum loads which the mezzanine floor has been designed to withstand. The supplier should supply you with a notice. This should detail these which we highly recommend is made visible for everyone to see and abide by.
If you are interested in a mezzanine floor for your warehouse or have any other enquiries, please get in touch! Call us on 01388 779111 or please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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