Having a warehouse that’s well stocked and organized is the foundation of many businesses. Organizational skills are necessary to make the most out of large storage spaces – not just to ensure effective use, but also for safety purposes.
There are a lot of accidents waiting to happen for the unsuspecting warehouse worker and their colleagues.
Fortunately, with a little foresight and planning, warehouse safety can be all but assured. If you’re curious and would like to learn what to look out for, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out more!
The Warehouse Environment
There are a few things to consider when tackling the safety of a large industrial space such as a warehouse. Commonly these are busy places, with potentially hazardous or at least heavy items stacked high on pallet racks. When you factor in forklifts whizzing here and there with heavy loads and people on foot wheeling pallets around, it’s easy to see the need for proper safety protocols.
To begin with, making sure nobody who doesn’t belong within the warehouse is of the utmost importance. It’s common for customers to wander into the warehouse, either looking for something they want to buy, or someone to ask about what they’re looking for. These people, although they mean well, will largely be unaware of the danger they’re putting themselves in.
Ensuring there’s a well-marked reception area, with a sign denying entry to the rest of the warehouse is a good idea. If someone gets run over by a forklift who doesn’t work with you, you can bet you’re going to be up to your neck in expensive legal fees. This type of disaster is easily avoided with someone stationed nearby the entrance, or even a bell to ring where they can wait for assistance.
A warehouse is nothing without easily accessible and sturdy pallet racks. When properly installed, racks bolt to the ground to ensure they don’t shift under load. The weight limit for these racks should be visible, and must never go overlooked.
Making certain you adhere to the weight limit of your racks prevents them from collapsing. Improperly used or installed racks have the potential to buckle under the strain, damaging what they’re holding and risking injury or loss of life. A domino effect is a very real possibility, if one rack were to fall into another, your entire stock could end up in a pile of wreckage.
To further secure your stock and protect expensive racks, the installation of pallet rack protectors can go a long way to ensure peace of mind. Rack protection is available in different sizes for each exposed leg of your racks. This solution offers added security against the event of a rogue forklift crash, saving you money and hassle in their replacement.
Outline A Warehouse Safety Program
A little training goes a long way to avoid mistakes before they happen. Common accidents are often avoided when made aware of their possibility, and what to look out for. A lot of this is common sense, but a lot of common sense can go ignored if it’s not underlined how exactly to stay safe.
Simple safety tips to follow while on the warehouse floor should be mandatory for all workers. Wearing a high-visibility vest will lower the chances of forklift injury, for example. Helmets should also be standard work wear, falling materials and stock are a very real danger while working near high storage racks.
Staff should have a clear outline of what to be vigilant for before setting foot inside the warehouse. How to properly handle and dispose of hazardous waste, operate cherry pickers, and even how important it is to lift with your legs are all important to underline. Most of all, an outlook of constant vigilance should be fostered; simple complacency is the direct cause of many accidents.
Eyes In The Sky
CCTV cameras should be positioned in such a way so that there are as few blind spots as possible within the warehouse. The inclusion of video recording systems will come in handy if an accident occurs. The ability to confirm or refute allegations with proof cannot be overstated.
Watching footage of accidents reveals how to avoid them from happening again. Close examination of what went wrong and the moments leading up to a mishap allow for preventative measures to be implemented, ensuring a repeat accident never happens again.
CCTV also allows you to keep one eye on the daily activity of the warehouse. If you see anyone without the appropriate safety gear or doing anything dangerous it’ll be easy to address. It’s always better to take preventative measures rather than deal with the fallout after the fact.
Forewarned Is Forearmed
Taking the time to outline the dangers of working within a busy industrial space serves to guard your employees against disaster. Lack of awareness is the root cause of most workplace accidents and can easily be rectified with proper training and explanation.
The simplest approach is to have a video made detailing potential hazards. A simple checklist can be handed over afterward to ensure the information has been remembered and understood.
If this article has helped you to understand how to tackle some of the more common aspects of warehouse safety, why not check out the rest of the blog? You might find more of the answers you’re looking for!