Warehousing Business: How to Create a Safe Work Environment
~by Lizzie Weakley~
A warehouse holds inventory — and more dangers than you can count. There are visible problems like floor spills, and hidden ones like faulty equipment. If you own or manage a warehouse, you’ll want to create a safe work environment that protects your employees, clients and products.
Maintain a Clean Floor
Not surprisingly, warehouses host many accidents when the floors are unclean. Teach employees to be cautious when they transport liquids, which could end up on the floor and cause serious falls. Tell them to clean spills and warn others immediately. Consider using companies that specialize in warehouse cleaning and allow you to schedule regular cleanups.
Debris is known to crowd the warehouse floor. Keep the floor clear of empty cartons, boxes and packages that cause falls. Some employees think that only sanitation workers are responsible for keeping the area clean. In reality, every employee should contribute to the cleanliness of the warehouse floor.
Avoid accidents by training workers to use equipment properly. Everyone working regularly in a warehouse should be able to operate forklifts, conveyor systems and dock equipment. Have on-the-job training for new hires and routine tests to refresh the skills of longtime employees.
Find Up-to-Date Models
The main machine that every warehouse needs is the forklift. The designs have become more streamlined and advanced over the past few decades. There are stackers, reach trucks and pallet trucks available for long-term use. Managers work with companies that provide new, popular models instead of outdated ones sold at affordable prices.
Organize the Area
Forklifts can crash into boxes and cartons that are stacked too close together. Order your workers to follow strict organization in your warehouse. Create aisles that are wide enough for forklifts to pass through. Arrange items in an easily accessible way to reduce labor and prevent machines from crashing into each other. Make stacks of inventory that are not likely to fall down and cause further damages.
Manage the Workers
Many warehouse employees work nighttime shifts with little to no guarantee of their safety. To create a safe warehouse, ensure that your workers are safe from thieves and intruders with security cameras and passcodes. Also, protect the inventory from your own employees by trusting them enough not to give unauthorized access to non-workers. Install cameras inside and outside of the building and report any suspicious behaviors.
Warehouse workers who get injured are likely to underestimate safety on the job. The manager must remind them to act responsibly and create a safe environment for everyone.
Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.