Six Essential Safety Practices for Warehouses

By: Shared Interest

Don’t make the mistake of taking shortcuts when it comes to implementing safety protocols for your warehouse. Investing in safety can provide your employees with greater job satisfaction while at the same time reducing injury-related absences. The money that you put into creating a safe work environment will more than pay for itself by improving productivity, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing workplace accidents and injuries.

Consider implementing the following warehouse safety practices to create a safer work environment for your employees:

1. Make Safety Equipment Mandatory

Don’t leave it up to your employees as to whether or not they want to use safety equipment – make it mandatory. All heavy lifting should be done using hydraulic dollies or forklifts to prevent back injuries. Invest in hard hats and safety glasses for workers, specifying all of the circumstances under which these items should be worn. Mark all of your emergency exits clearly, using signs that are eye-catching and easy to understand. Invest in a sprinkler system for your building and make sure to properly maintain it.

Although getting your warehouse set up for safety does take a relatively large upfront investment, it will pay for itself over time by helping to minimise workplace injuries and by reducing absenteeism.

2. Address Potential Hazards

Set up recurring safety inspections for your warehouse. Pay particular attention to items that employees could slip on or trip over such as spilt fluids or loose electrical cords. Examine the floor itself, as well, looking for any cracks or uneven areas that could cause your workers to fall or that could damage your equipment.

3. Train Employees How to Lift Heavy Items Safely

All employees should be educated on proper lifting techniques. They should start by identifying the best method for transporting each item that needs to be moved, whether that be by forklifts or moving items by BT Rolatruc. If they determine that lifting it is the best option, they should then follow a step-by-step protocol that focuses on safety.

The first step is to check the route to make sure there are no obstacles that they could trip over or run into. Once the route has been cleared, they can then lift the item up, making sure to use proper lifting techniques and checking that the item doesn’t block their view or keep others from seeing them. Teach employees how to handle heavy items and equipment. For instance, simple steps like pushing items rather than pulling them and leaning towards the direction that an object is moving can help prevent injuries. Finally, make sure that only properly-trained, authorised personnel operate forklifts or other types of bulky equipment.

4. Identify and Label Hazardous Areas

Any areas of your warehouse that are particularly dangerous should be labelled to help increase employee awareness. Dangerous tools and equipment should be kept in a safe area, with signs or labels clearly explaining the danger to employees. Use techniques like taping off hazardous areas or painting the floor with stripes to help alert employees that extra caution is required. When your employees are more aware of potentially dangerous situations, it is easier for them to avoid getting injured.

5. Schedule Regular Safety Training

All employees should undergo safety training on a regular schedule. This not only includes providing them with an initial training course but also with refresher courses. This can help ingrain essential safety practices into their minds, making them less likely to run into trouble in the workplace. Make sure that employees understand that safety is a higher priority than speed. Oftentimes, workers take shortcuts when it comes to safety in an effort to get their work done more quickly. By prioritising safety over speed, you can keep them from taking unnecessary risks to get things done faster, minimising the chances of an accident occurring.

6. Use Clear Communication to Keep Everyone Alert and Informed

Workers are less likely to experience accidents if they are aware of what is happening around them. Make sure that all of your employees do their best to alert others to potentially dangerous situations. For instance, a worker driving a forklift through the warehouse should make a sound or call out when they come to an intersection where others may have trouble seeing them. By training your employees to communicate with one another about potential safety problems, you can help improve the safety of your warehouse and can minimise the likelihood of accidents taking place.