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The purpose of this program is to provide SRM (Storage and Retrieval Machines) safety training for technicians working at distribution centers.

A crane is a two- or four-wheeled captive aisle crane with a tote/carton carrying surface. The crane travels horizontally down the aisle and carries a tote/carton-carrying surface on either a single mast or dual masts. The crane has either an in-feed station at an aisle end and an out-feed station at the other end or both in-feed and out-feed stations located at one aisle end.

Safety training is intended to provide technicians with the information needed to be safe when entering a crane aisle. A team member trained to clear loads and correct faults has completed safety training and has demonstrated the skills to safely manage defective loads. A mechanically or electrically trained SRM technician has demonstrated the skills to be safe and competent while performing maintenance at their training level.

Completion of this training process ensures that the technician has the minimum knowledge to safely enter the aisle and perform basic work on the SRM.


Unknown Dangers

The SRM cranes are designed to operate in automatic mode without the need for operator intervention. If a load fails, it will cause the equipment to not operate properly. Unknown dangers may exist in the aisle from damaged equipment, pallets, totes, tubs, and merchandise. Extreme caution must be exercised to prevent injury in these dynamic environments.

Personnel must always be conscious of surrounding hazards to them and others while in the SRM aisle.

Notes on Safety

'''Danger of death or severe injuries due to moving machine parts.'''

  • Enter the aisle area only after all the drives have come to a full stop in each operating mode and at all speeds. Be aware of the coasting path of moving machine parts.
  • Danger of death or severe injuries from suspended loads and falling merchandise.
  • Always follow the safety instructions in the Guidelines to Safe Aisle Entry in the safety manual.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and actions taking place around you.
  • Be sure all safety instructions and warnings attached to the SRM remain attached and legible.
  • Search for objects that appear to be unstable or have the possibility to fall. Make every effort to secure unstable objects. If objects cannot be secured, take other actions to ensure your safety and notify an FM of the situation.
  • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including a hard hat, for the task when working in the SRM crane aisles.
  • When switching to automatic or manually operating SRM cranes, ensure that no one is located in or can step into the crane aisle.
  • Some troubleshooting and maintenance activities will require more than one person to be present in the aisle.
  • Anybody who identifies an immediate danger of personal injury or equipment damage must actuate the emergency-stop button immediately.

'''"Never" stand or work under an unsecured lifting carriage or load handling device.'''

Personal Fall Arrest System - PFAS

  • Always inspect PFAS equipment before each use.
  • Always use a safety harness when working at elevated positions on the SRM.
  • Use the fall safety harness in accordance with all safety requirements and regulations.
  • The safety lanyard must be secured on a tie off location on the top carriage or the racking.

Proper apparel of persons entering the SRM aisle

All personnel working around the SRM equipment must wear properly fitted clothes and EH rated composite toed leather work shoes or boots. Wearing tennis shoes, baggy cuffs, neckties, jewelry, key rings, and similar apparel or any conductive items is not permitted.

Hard hats will be worn in the SRM aisles when traveling the aisles, when other technicians are working overhead, or if there is a possibility of falling material or debris.

Checklist for Untrained Personnel to Enter the Crane Aisle

A checklist for untrained personnel to enter the crane aisle is not required for a trainee to enter the crane aisle with a trained technician for the purpose of training. Untrained personnel may not enter the crane aisle for tasks other than training unless a checklist for untrained personnel to enter the crane aisle is completed.

'''Personnel entering the crane aisle under checklist for untrained personnel must participate in group lockout.'''

SRM Aisle Air Space

The area directly above the floor of the SRM aisle as defined by racks and safety gates or cages andcontinuing to the ceiling is considered part of the crane aisle. Persons encroaching on this air space for any reason must be protected by the SRM lockout procedures.

Key Lock Control

Shifting the mode of control of the SRM from automatic to manual and accessing the aisle is accomplished via the key lock system.

  • When multiple personnel are entering, ALL must be involved in group lockout. The control key must be locked in the gang lockout box at the end of the SRM aisle.
  • The technician in charge of the maintenance must control the key lock keys, or be part of a gang lockout.
  • Only one key set with welded ring or crimped steel cable is allowed in circulation per aisle way.
  • The MM must know the location of all keys at all times to ensure that there are never two sets of keys for a single aisle being used at the same time.
  • It is the responsibility of the group lockout leader in a group lockout to ensure that all personnel are clear of the aisle and that all obstructions, material, and all tools have been removed from the aisle before placing the SRM back in service.

Entering the SRM Aisle

Access to and from the SRM crane aisles are controlled by the use of a fence and locked gate with control interlocks. To ensure personnel safety, all entries will be through the aisle gates. No exceptions!

'''Entering the aisle from any point other than the gates may result in personal injury.'''

While Accessing the Aisle

When an aisle is accessed, signs will be erected at each end of the aisle and on the base of the SRM stating, '''"WARNING: OUT OF ORDER."''' The sign will be no smaller than 8 ? x 11 inches with letters no smaller than 1-inch tall in a plain text font. As an alternative, a permanently installed sign may be illuminated at the aisle ends. This sign must be manually activated and shine with sufficient brightness as to be readily apparent to a casual observer as to whether it is warning or off. Stack lights do not meet the intent of this requirement and are not acceptable.

'''When a lockout is used:'''

  • When multiple team members are in the aisle, a multi-user hasp or gang lockbox may be used.
  • Prior to entering the aisle, the technician in charge of the work will identify himself/herself.
  • All uncertified personnel entering the aisle are required to participate in the group lockout.

'''When Troubleshooting or a Live PM is Necessary:'''

  • Whenever possible, live troubleshooting and PM activity should be limited to a single technician in the crane aisle maintaining full control of the key set at all times. Some circumstances may require two technicians in the SRM aisle; during this circumstance the technician in charge will possess the control keys.
  • While in the aisle, the technician in charge will ensure that prior to each machine movement the other technician will be warned of the intended movement and speed. The other technician will repeat the warning to acknowledge the movement of the machine.
  • Following completion of the troubleshooting and/or PM, prior to placing the SRM back in service, the technician in charge will verify all personnel are clear of the aisle.
  • When eliminating faults, never move the SRM in manual control while a second person is in an elevated position on the SRM.
  • Before the lifting carriage is moved, ensure that all personnel are clear of the lifting carriage.

'''Storage operations performed in the manual mode should be made with caution, since the storage tolerances are not ensured while in manual mode.'''

Exiting the Crane Aisle

  • The lead tech will verify that all personnel are clear of the aisle before placing the SRM back in service.

Two-Man Rule

The two-man rule designates that a when a trained person enters the crane aisle, a second trained person is designated to provide assistance as required, ensuring the safety of the primary person. As an exception, the MM may designate an untrained person to act as the second person in special circumstances. The two-man rule is required at all times unless:

  1. All electrical power > 50 volts is isolated, locked out, and verified de-energized.
  2. The crane's hoisting platforms are fully lowered or properly blocked in place.
  3. All merchandise, pallets, tubs, and totes are properly stowed to eliminate any possibility of falling.
  4. The work does not require going aloft greater than 4 feet.

Based on the number of variables that may exist in the aisles, it is not possible to predetermine how to apply the two-man rule in every circumstance. As a minimum, the two-man rule shall consist of the primary person using two-way radio (fully charged and verified by radio check) communications with a designated second person outside the aisle. At times, use of the two-man rule may require the second person to be present at the aisle.

'''Use of the Two-Man Rule is not a replacement for other safe work practices.'''

Ascending the Mast

Ascending the mast of any SRM is physically and mentally challenging. The proper use of a harness and personal fall arrest system (PFAS) equipment is required to prevent injury or death. To minimize the risk of falling, personnel must be fully aware of their physical and mental state and determine if they are prepared for the challenge each time they ascend an SRM mast.

'''Do not attempt to ascend the mast using PFAS until you have received mast ascension training, and all PFAS equipment has passed inspection.'''

Maintenance Platforms ASRS only

The maintenance platforms are considered part of the crane aisle equipment. All of the precautions that apply to accessing the crane aisle on the floor exist for the maintenance platform. When accessing the maintenance platform, the technician in charge must have control of the control keys.

'''Do not attempt to access mast head maintenance platforms until you have received mast head platform training.'''

'''A checklist is required to ride the ASRS; all fall protection procedures must be followed while attempting to ride the ASRS.'''


Used to prevent minor personal injury or damage to the equipment that may result if the proper precautions are not taken.

Calls attention to information that is especially significant to the operation or technician.

Used to help prevent severe personal injury or damage to the equipment that can result if the proper precautions are not taken.

Used to help prevent loss of life. Severe personal injury or substantial property damage will result if proper precautions are not taken.