The warehouse is an integral part of any company. It forms the core of the distribution channel as goods from suppliers come in and out to consumers. Warehouses are hectic environments packed with heights, large boxes, forklifts, and heavy machines. Because of all these factors, maintaining the safety of a warehouse is essential.
Luckily, there are several ways of improving warehouse safety. With this information, you will provide a safe and secure working environment for your workers.
Maintain Safe Forklift Operation
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that close to 95,000 injuries and 100 deaths annually are caused by forklift accidents. Common causes of forklift accidents include running into shelves, running into other workers, and improper loading. To maintain forklift safety start by ensuring only trained and qualified employees operate the forklifts.
Racks should also be protected by installing barriers at the end of aisles and quickly replacing damaged racks. Loading decks and passageways should also be kept clear so that forklifts can safely move around.
Keeping products in warehouses is more than putting boxes on top of shelves. Ensure your workers know how to spread weight along a shelf, evaluate the weight a rack can take, and stack boxes effectively for ease of access. When it comes to shelving, shortcuts should be discouraged because boxes may fall and injure employees who are close, or an entire rack can collapse.
Train, Retrain and Refresh Your Workers
Provide your workers with basic training in warehouse health and safety. However, after some time, things will have changed, or your workers will have forgotten some safety guidelines. Therefore, you should provide your workers with refresher training lessons in warehouse safety.
It is also crucial you have a collection of formal written warehouse health and safety standards and should be posted in frequently trafficked and public locations.
Ensure Appropriate Emergency Signage
Safety signage is a legal requirement in many warehouses. It is important to display as much info as you can to make your workers aware of possible risks and precautionary measures to avoid them. Make sure that safety equipment is easily accessible from anywhere in the warehouse.
Keeping emergency signs that are bold, clear, and stand out against the background is exceptionally crucial.
Ensure Loading Docks Safety
Loading decks are areas with high traffic that have an intersection of workers, cargo, heavy machines, and a high risk of obstructive visibility that can cause all of them to collide in dangerous ways if the right precautions aren’t followed. For example, fall accidents may happen if workers are too focused on their work and not on the dock’s brink.
Placing vivid colored tape or signs along the brink of the deck can help prevent fall accidents. You can also improve dock safety by making sure dock plates are well fixed, dock ladders and stairs have handrails, and weight limits are respected.
Carry Out Safety Sweeps
Without ensuring warehouse safety procedures are followed, no amount of tips will improve the safety of your warehouse. Safety sweeps should be done regularly to inspect possible risks and ensure safety procedures are followed.
A safety sweep checklist should evaluate whether your loading area is clear, floors are free of trip hazards, and corners have adequate visibility, among others. Also, those carrying out safety sweeps should be able to assess possible unforeseen causes of accidents that they come across.
Ensuring your warehouse is properly ventilated is a vital part of warehouse safety procedures. It would be best if you didn’t underestimate the way racks and stacks can facilitate or inhibit airflow through the warehouse. When a warehouse is not adequately ventilated, it limits air circulation, thus making exhaust fumes from vehicles stagnate in the air.
Ensuring your warehouse is properly ventilated will facilitate both employee safety and comfort.
When these safety procedures are soundly implemented, you will considerably improve the safety of your warehouse.