Warehouse work is no joke. You’re surrounded by heavy equipment, machinery, and cargo. This means you need to do everything you can to stay safe. As a manager or owner of a warehouse, it’s your responsibility to maintain the safety and security of your employees, and of the equipment and goods found within your building. Below are some handy warehouse safety tips that should let you know what to focus on.
Minimize potential safety hazards:
The first thing you should do is analyse the work environment, and figure out what common safety hazards are there. Now, of course, these depend on what kind of goods your warehouse stores. A warehouse specialized for chemical waste will pose different types of danger when compared to, for example, one that houses building equipment. In the former, a potential hazard can be a poorly sealed lid or a spill. For the other, improperly fixed fasteners and security ties.
However, there are general safety hazards as well. Namely, things like a wet floor, poor lighting in vital areas, stray cords and open wires, all of these can lead to catastrophic issues. Even a simple thing as a crack in the floor can derail an electric forklift, or make an employee slip and fall.
Get proper equipment:
An important safety tip is to get proper equipment. Do not go with the cheapest, most affordable option you can find. We understand that you need to budget properly, and that money is tight sometimes. However, buying cheap equipment will get you nowhere. In fact, these can often pose a safety risk.
The difference between getting gear from, for example, a good forklift supplier company compared to a poor, cheap one, is that you know what you’re spending your money on. A second-hand forklift that is barely running can fall apart in the middle of lifting something heavy. We probably don’t have to explain further how dangerous this can be.
Safety equipment must be used at all times:
Employees must use the right gear at all times. There are no ifs, and, or buts around this. Safety equipment exists for a reason, it’s not something you can just brush off. So, wearing safety goggles when handling toxic chemicals, with the appropriate gloves and clothing is a must. Otherwise, the person involved can hurt him or herself severely and can endanger the lives of others.
Head protection in the right place at the right time can mean the difference between a concussion and death. There is simply no excuse not to wear the gear set out by the company. Lack of compliance with this provision must be regulated swiftly and clearly.
Provide appropriate training:
All the equipment and regulations in the world won’t matter much if your staff doesn’t know how to use it properly. This is where you come in. You need to provide adequate training and education on how to use the gear and equipment you have. So, whenever you get a new piece of equipment, set up a training course, and provide all the necessary manuals and instruction guidebooks.
Furthermore, offer refresher courses and seminars. Don’t just hope they remember everything they were taught at the first training session. It may be tedious, but it can save somebody’s life at one point.
This may sound simple, but too many warehouses simply forget this point. Namely, label everything of importance. Dangerous areas and sections need to be marked as such. Hazardous chemicals need to have the proper labeling, and the sign on how to handle them needs to be clear and legible. Use white stripes to designate loading areas, mark everything up so that your staff can know, at a glance, with what kind of situation are they dealing with.
Promote a culture of safety:
You should promote safety in the workplace in every way you can. Making it part of your workplace, something that is the most important part of your business basically cements the implementation of safety precautions and procedures in your workplace. It becomes part of the job itself. You can promote this by always adhering to the guidelines yourself. Essentially, lead by example. Furthermore, offer bonuses and perks for people who never made even a small violation of the rules. Making it your priority will make safety their priority as well.
In order to lead a safe warehouse, you need to do everything within your power to promote a culture of safety. Lead by example, work hard, and reward people who stick to the rules. Furthermore, provide appropriate training and equipment to your people, as this will motivate them to stay safe. Label everything correctly, and remove any potential hazards and safety risks. Minimize danger as much as possible, and invest properly to keep your people safe.
Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to home, and offline business He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.