The warehouse is one of the most commonly overlooked areas in the workplace – regarding safety. Most safety procedures are disregarded due to inadequate resources, limited time, or simply because an employer wants to cut corners in the name of saving money. Failure to abide by safety rules in the warehouse is, however, one of the leading causes of accidents and losses in many companies today.
One thing some of these employers fail to understand is that implementing sound safety procedures and mechanisms is not only good for their workers but also translates to many benefits in the long run. For one, there’s a reduced risk of injury, fewer cases of absenteeism due to sicknesses, workplace disruptions, and more importantly, increased productivity. Outlined below are a few safety guidelines to help keep your warehouse safe.
1. Ensure Safety Equipment Is in Place and Easily Accessible When Needed
“Hydraulic dollies and forklifts are common types of machinery used in almost every warehouse. While this equipment helps make work much easier (hauling bulky items), anyone operating them or working in the warehouse needs to have safety gear on. This included helmets, eyewear, and high-visibility aprons,” comments warehouse equipment specialists at Pallet Trucks Direct.
In addition to this, you need to have smoke detectors and sprinkler systems installed on the roof. All employees need to be aware of where emergency exits are and know how to operate fire extinguishers in the warehouse as well. Having these in place should help minimize workplace injuries significantly.
2. Remove Potential Safety Hazards
Slip and fall accidents are widespread in warehouses. Ensuring the floors here aren’t slippery is one way to reduce the risks. In addition to this, have the employees participate in ensuring the floor is free of liquids, stray cords, and any other potentially dangerous item. Cracks and pits in the warehouse flooring also need to be taken care of to prevent injuries and even damaging machinery used in the warehouse.
3. Stick to Safe Lifting Techniques
Always assess the best route and method to haul or move heavy loads. Checking the route to avoid knocking other items off, and ensuring there’s enough space for the load is recommended too. The person operating either the forklift or hydraulic dollies need to have a clear line of sight to the destination. The operator also needs to be well-trained and experienced in operating the machinery too. Adopting some of these safe lifting techniques can save you lots of trouble and injuries in the warehouse.
4. Label Designated Risky Zones Clearly
Hazardous area and risky equipment should always be labelled clearly, and the machines stored in a safe designated area. Proper signage and lighting are required to ensure employees, and even visitors see their way clearly. You should also consider painting white and black stripes to the designated areas or use tape to demarcate the area. Doing so should enable employees to know they are in a dangerous zone when working closely.
5. Train New Employees and Provide Refresher Courses to Existing Staff
Ensuring all employees are up-to-date with the current safety practices in the workplace is a huge plus for the company. This can be done by providing refresher courses for all your employees. New and fresh recruits should also be trained how to operate necessary equipment, and also be aware of potentially unsafe areas. It is by training new employees and providing refresher courses that you can be assured everyone understands all the safety guidelines and rules on how to stay safe in the workplace.
6. Promote Awareness and Proper Communication
Implementing proper communication channels to improve awareness in the workplace can work in your favour, and particularly where workplace safety is an issue. Sensitizing employees on the essence of communication and being vocal can help prevent many accidents. Simply yelling out ‘coming through’ can help avoid collision accidents in dangerous pathways. Encouraging employees to be aware of their surrounding is vital for their safety as well.