When managers look at ways to improve their warehouse operations, there is one subject that always stirs a bit of controversy: accidents. Because of warehouse accidents, companies lose money – but more importantly, their employees get injured, lose productivity and pay, and can even lose their ability to work at all… or worse. Of course, not every accident is unavoidable, but a large percentage of workplace accidents can be avoided with the adoption of a few preventative measures. Here are just a few tips that are worth considering – adopting even some of them could immediately improve the safety at your warehouse.
Shipping & Handling
1. Ensure that everyone knows the best way to lift heavy items to avoid unnecessary injuries.
2. Encourage the use of pallet lifters, fork lifts, and the like whenever possible.
3. Ensure that before delivering pallets, they are properly loaded, and boxes are properly packed for stability and safety.
4. Personal Protective Equipment is essential for proper workplace safety. In fact, Regulation 4 of the 1992 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations states that employers are responsible for providing PPE to workers that need it due to the specific nature of the jobs.
5. If your warehouse situation requires it, consider eye and ear protections. If the decibel level is too high, or if debris is a common problem, hearing protection and safety goggles must be included in a worker’s PPE.
6. Don’t forget gloves. Even if they aren’t required by governmental regulations, a good grip can be invaluable to a worker – and prevent product loss from dropping and breaking.
7. Tripping in warehouses is a very real problem. Implement policies that ensure that aisles are cleared at all times.
8. Make sure that spills are cleaned up immediately, and that proper warning signs are put in place.
9. Consider investing in anti-slip tape or paint if slips are common in a particular area.
10. Most companies train new employees as a matter of course, but it’s important to update training for everyone on a regular basis – especially if anything relevant changes.
11. Regular workplace safety training is important, but consider providing additional training for such subjects as fire safety, emergency first aid and CPR, and other specialised training.
Whether your employees are receiving huge shipments from within the UK, or shipping pallets to Europe… whether they’re stocking inventory for future sales, or pulling inventory that just sold… whatever your warehouse employees are doing, safety is a key element of a successful business. Accidents cause expensive losses – and occasionally serious injuries or worse – and yet most of them are avoidable with the implementation of just a few key guidelines. This list should help, but it is certainly not exhaustive. If you discover something else that will help protect your employees, by all means, make it happen!