7 Feb 2020
Warehouse Catwalks Keep Facilities Safe & Efficient
Warehouses and manufacturing spaces oftentimes very busy with workers and forklifts moving from place to place constantly. These facilities are susceptible to overcrowding due to an increase in inventory, uptick in production, or even just a growing business. Adding these elements together can create a hectic and sometimes even dangerous warehouse environment.
However, this usually happens most often with facilities and warehouses that are not making the best use of their current space. Generally, facilities have a great deal of space above the warehouse floor that is being underutilized, and when it comes to relieving the traffic flow in a facility, Panel Built offers a product to help, Warehouse Catwalks. Panel Built fabricates and designs a line of custom catwalks system similarly to our steel mezzanines. Panel Built warehouse catwalks utilize a bolt-together steel design.
How Can a Warehouse Catwalk Help?
Panel Built’s catwalk systems are designed to create the most efficient way for a company’s employees to walk and/or transport equipment and materials from point A to point b within a facility. However, the “point A” and “point B” change a lot depending on the needs of the facility. Some companies may elect to have their catwalk stretch across to different points along the edges of their facility, providing a clear pathway from one side to the other without increasing the foot traffic in the middle of the facility.
In other cases, warehouse catwalks are designed to provide employee access to pieces of equipment, storage areas, or controls. If these things are infrequently used, they may be placed in less accessible areas within the facility to keep the rest of the floorspace clear. The catwalk also offers a means to provide service or maintenance to pieces of equipment without disrupting other operations. This way, when the controls and equipment do experience downtime, the employees have a convenient space for repairing while the plant keeps running smoothly.
Additionally, catwalk systems create the perfect vantage point for overseeing the equipment and work processes below. Oftentimes, Panel Built’s catwalk systems are incorporated into the design of larger projects, such as observation platforms or mezzanine office systems. We have had a number of projects where a supervisor’s office was designed to sit above the warehouse floor, and a catwalk system is included along the front of the office or even extending out to into the facility in order to provide a clear view all across the area below. For supervisors and quality control officers, these observation points allow them to better view the flow of products and materials below and see where any breakdown in processes may occur.
Catwalks Help Create a Safe Work Environment
In addition to keeping heavy equipment and foot traffic running smoothly down below, catwalks go a long way to improving the overall safety of a warehouse and manufacturing facility as well. As we know, safety is one of the top priorities in most facilities. Beyond OSHA requirements, companies have an obligation to their employees to ensure their operate in an environment that keeps hazards at a minimum. Depending on your facility, catwalks can do this in a variety of ways. Some customers opt to essentially have a network of catwalks for employees above the facility floor. These routes act as a set of shortcuts of sorts, allow for a direct path to exits from across the building. This can be incredibly helpful in reducing the time needed for employees to evacuate the building in the event of a fire or other emergencies.
As you may know, a great safety concern at any workplace is fall hazards and installing a catwalk into a facility could add to this risk. However, Panel Built, Inc. can design your catwalk project to help mitigate this risk in your facility and ensure the new system fully meets your facility’s safety standards. How does Panel Built do this? Panel Built offers a variety of custom railing systems to meet (or even go beyond) OSHA safety standards. In addition to the standard guard railing, Panel Built can include horizontal stringers or expanded steel into the railing’s design to minimize the risk of a slip or fall from the catwalk.
How Do Panel Built Catwalk Systems Work?
Our warehouse catwalks utilize the same bolt-together steel assembly as our mezzanine systems do. Panel Built and our dealers work with our end-customers to help you design a catwalk system that fits your facility’s specific needs. From there, Panel Built can engineer, fabricate, deliver, and install the entire system for you. The entire system produced in our specialized mezzanine fabrication plant, and the components are delivered directly to the job site. Then Panel Built will have one of our installation teams from around the country assemble the structure at your facility.
The Panel Built catwalks come in one of six standard colors: white, grey, black, red, blue, and yellow. However, custom color options, including color matching, are available upon request. Panel Built uses powder coating to give our structures a durable and long-lasting coloring. Additionally, we offer a couple of options for exterior catwalk systems. We have an exterior rated powder coating, or we can hot dip galvanize all the components of the catwalk system to give it a full, weather-resistant zinc coating.
In addition to the different railing options we offer, Panel Built allows you to customize your catwalks in many other ways. First, Panel Built offers a variety of decking options. Advantech, Resindek, diamond plating, bar grating, and more can all be used for your walkway. Each of these options has its own benefits and applications which make them useful in particular situations. Advantech works great for basic catwalks with primarily just foot traffic going through, and it is typically our most affordible option. Resindek works great if a equipment or materials will be rolling along the platform. Bar grating can sometimes be needed to prevent the need of sprinklers underneath the catwalk, allowing fire suppression from above to pass through. And diamond plating offers a great, durable option if necessary.
Of course, if you have questions about our warehouse catwalks or any other of our products, just give us a call at 800.6363873, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can ask us in our LiveChat feature in the bottom right of the page! We’re more than happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. At Panel Built, we’re more than happy to take the time to work with you to ensure your catwalk system fits your facility perfectly, whether big or small. With 25 years in the modular construction industry, our mission is “Solving our Customers’ Space Needs with Excellence and Great Customer Service,” and we aim to do just that with each quote and project we provide.