Safety and facility managers across North America’s industrial sectors have lauded MHI industry group the Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association’s (ProGMA) Protective Guarding Search Tool, which aims to serve as a one-stop-shop for anyone looking for the guarding solutions to keep people and products safe.
The Protective Guarding Search Tool addresses the myriad of protective guarding solutions that are available in the market and supports end users looking for the right products for their varying facilities. It is an environment where off-the-shelf products do not always work, and custom-engineered guarding is required in many scenarios.
Most industrial facilities use multiple pieces of protective guarding as employee safety is of utmost importance. The key is to identify the hazards and the solutions for those dangers, and then follow that with purchase and eventual installation. There is a solution for every industrial facility—and now it can all be found in one place.
As ProGMA says, safety is an issue that every single facility has in common, and they all have some type of protective guarding. However, this equipment sector encompasses many different solutions, from safety gates for pallet drop areas to bollards that protect structures and netting that prevents items from falling off shelves. There are many more applications in between too.
The first step for any end user is to identify the risk. For example, if there is an opening at a pallet drop area in an upper level of a pick module, that is a fall risk for employees. Then, the facility manager can go to the Technology Tool and type in that risk and get back a list of companies that offer pallet drop safety gates with links to their sites for more information. The Protective Guarding Search Tool makes it easy and filters out all the non-relevant results you may get if you type the same phrase into Google.
Search for hazards and solutions
Oftentimes, a facility manager knows that they have a safety issue but are not entirely sure what products would provide the needed protection. The Protective Guarding Search Tool allows users to search for solutions by entering phrases—“Prevent falls from upper levels”—or by entering the product—“Loading dock safety gate”.
ProGMA and MHI have worked together to put the system in front of relevant stakeholders, where it is being marketed as a one-stop solution center for those looking to solve their guarding needs. The tool is targeting at anyone that is responsible for seeking out and purchasing protective guarding equipment or specifying solutions, such as a consultant, reseller, systems integrator, or material handling distributor.
ProGMA members are the industry’s leading suppliers of fixed protective guarding products designed to protect personnel, equipment, and inventory in industrial facilities. Thus, the Protective Guarding Search Tool gives end users access to the wares of the best equipment on the market. Membership represents all facets of this varied product area, from outside the building to the very upper levels inside. There are safety solutions for loading docks, entrances, rack systems, conveyors, doorways, stairways, etc. Given the breadth of solution, the new digital platform serves as an education tool; many of the products that users will find directly help find solutions to OSHA’s safety requirements in a facility. All products have been exposed to the most stringent of testing to give users peace of mind that they will provide the levels of safety required should they ever be put to the test.
ProGMA members can provide both standard and custom products, and it is important to work closely with the manufacturer once you find the equipment that meets your needs.
Working for end users’ safety
Importantly, ProGMA member companies demonstrate a constant willingness to share information and education around protective guarding. Collectively, ProGMA is impassioned about safety and continued improvement of best practice beyond the profit of individual member companies. Inquiries are routed directly to ProGMA members so that you can source safety solutions for any application.
Membership serves to promote general safety in the material handling industry so if someone were to contact an individual representative for a solution that is outside their area of expertise, they know they can pass them onto the appropriate ProGMA member company that has the knowledge and solution for that hazard.
Hand in hand with ecommerce surge
The pandemic has put businesses in the ecommerce and drop-shipping sectors in a potentially favorable position, meaning that there are more requirements than ever before on the type of safety solutions provided by ProGMA members.
There is always going to be a need for protective guarding equipment in this kind of business environment, even as the facilities become more automated. In fact, automation has brought about new opportunities for some protective guarding companies, as there is a greater need to separate employees from automated technologies. This is a great time to be a member of ProGMA—and an end user of members’ equipment.
The Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association (ProGMA) members are the industry’s leading suppliers of fixed protective guarding products designed to protect personnel, equipment, and inventory in industrial facilities. Member companies meet regularly to review, discuss, and revise the standards for design and performance of protective guarding products used in the material handling industry. ProGMA member companies are committed to the development, maintenance, and publishing of industry standard specifications for these systems. Visit the website at mhi.org/progma
MHI is an international trade association that has represented the material handling, logistics and supply chain industry since 1945. MHI members include material handling and logistics equipment and systems manufacturers, integrators, consultants, publishers and third-party logistics providers. MHI offers education, networking and solution sourcing for their members, their customers and the industry as a whole through programming and events. The association sponsors the ProMat and MODEX expos to showcase the products and services of its member companies and to educate manufacturing and supply chain professionals.