So many different things must come together at once to ensure that any given warehouse provides a safe working environment for all employees involved in different operations on site. Some involve education and training, while others are more tangible changes and additions that can be made to the warehouse itself. Warehouses are full of potential hazards and dangers, but there are some easily implemented tips that will help you on the way to ensuring that yours remains as safe as possible.
A clean and tidy warehouse goes a long way
Tripping, slipping and falling over in cluttered warehouses accounts for many accidents and by implementing strict rules over tidiness and cleanliness these sorts of incidents can be minimized. A good, clean and tidy warehouse should be like a car showroom – imagine that an inspection can happen at any time and every single thing in the warehouse should have its place and be returned to it after use. Routines for cleaning the floors, tidying shelving and equipment should all be implemented and hand in hand with training your warehouse will become a safer and more enjoyable space in which to work, which can also boost employee mood and efficiency. One sensible little tip that could prevent injury is to ensure that heavier items are stored as low down as possible. It might seem like common sense but accidents still happen as a result of lifting heavy objects from high shelving.
Keep equipment well-maintained, serviced and replace if necessary
All warehouse equipment has its own unique requirements when it comes to maintenance, shelf-life and storage conditions. It should be made clear to those in charge that regular checks on equipment are vital as smaller issues can soon spiral out of control and cause major problems if they are not addressed promptly. With proper maintenance protocol in place safety in the warehouse will be improved and money will be saved on costly repairs.
A few simple changes to prevent longer term damage and injury
One very simple and relatively inexpensive way that warehouse safety can be improved is to ensure that employees use anti-slip and impact absorbing industrial floor mats in areas where packing is done. This will reduce the stress on each employee’s ankles, shins and knees and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries. In addition, suitable lighting will reduce the strain on the eyes that can happen over long working hours, while the provision of mechanical equipment for lifting of heavier items can help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal conditions that are associated with manual lifting.
Mark out or place barriers in front of dangerous or different work zones
It’s no use having forklift drivers and pedestrians unsure of who has right of way or where they are supposed to be at any given time, so floor markings and suitable warehouse barriers should be implemented to provide clarity and offer safety to all involved, not to mention to offer protection to expensive machinery.
Make sure there is clear fire protocol
Warehouses pose a very obvious fire risk. There are often many flammable materials in warehouses as well as practices that could carry with them a risk of fires. Fire safety doors should be installed – ones that offer a minimum of 30 minutes of fire protection are recommended. In addition there must be enough fire extinguishers and their location should be widely known. Wiring should be checked on a regular basis and flammable fluids and gases should be stored safely. Fire Exits must be clearly marked and everyone should be fully aware of what to do when the fire alarm sounds or there are other signs of potential fire.