Large Canadian retailer choses Alvarado’s Forklift Collision Avoidance product to prevent accidents and improve worker safety

The Watchman Protects Doors, Catwalks and Conveyors at Canada’s Largest Distribution Center


Located in eastern Ontario, Canada’s largest retail distribution center has 1.5 million square feet of floor space and over 2000 employees.  Each year approximately 160 million products are shipped from the facility to stores across Canada.

With forklifts operating throughout the facility 24/7, it’s not hard to see why protecting roll up doors, overhead conveyors and catwalks from forklift impact is a high priority for the distribution center.

At earlier constructed facilities, fabricated tubular guards (sometimes called goalposts), as well as bollards, were anchored in front of door frames and fixtures to provide protection. While effective, the anchored guards were expensive to purchase and substantial impacts loosened the floor anchors or even pulled up the concrete requiring costly floor repairs. The fabricated guards also did nothing to warn operators of impending collisions before they occurred.

The facility asked David Brent at Burlington Steel Systems, the supplier of the catwalks and other interior equipment, to find a better solution. After learning about Alvarado’s Watchman product, Brent contacted Dale Staton, Alvarado’s Asset Protection Products Senior Sales Representative

After just one call between Staton and Brent it was clear the Watchman was the right solution for the facility. Because the Watchman is hung from above, it provides far more installation flexibility allowing protection of not only doors, but also the various other overhead fixtures used in a busy distribution facility. In addition, a forklift load impacting the Watchman triggers bright red flashing lights and a 105 decibel alarm, both of which warn operators and management of accidents before they happen.

A total of 40 Watchman forklift collision protection devices were installed to protect the conveyors, catwalks and doorways at the eastern Ontario facility in early 2017. According to Brent, the facility couldn’t be happier with Alvarado and the product. “Dale was very knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with and we’re extremely pleased with the quality and workmanship [of the Watchman]”. The owner of the distribution facility is now looking at installing the Watchman at all of its distribution facilities to protect equipment, product and employees.

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