With large machinery transporting heavy loads at a decent pace, warehouses can be among the most hazardous places to work.
Even though you might think your warehouse safety actions are effective, the occasional full and honest evaluation of its safety procedures is a good habit to embrace. Warehouse managers also need to cultivate a culture of safety. Safety is a group effort, and if somebody’s not embracing proper procedures, or doesn’t know proper procedures, it’s a situation that puts everyone in danger.
Consider the following five tips to make your warehouse a safer place.
Minimize slip, trip and fall hazards
While this tip might seem like common sense, it takes real vigilance to keep a warehouse free of trip, slip and fall hazards.
Staff members should always be conscious of their surroundings. They should always ensure loose material like sawdust is picked up, spills are mopped, boxes are stored correctly, dark areas are properly lit, and potential trip hazards are clearly marked off or removed.
Management can minimize these hazards by installing guardrails wherever there’s a large space between floors and anti-slip measures on smooth surfaces or surfaces that often get wet.
Ensure safety equipment is being used the right way
How much money does your organization spend on safety equipment each year? Regardless of what that number is, it’s all being wasted if your employees aren’t properly using that equipment.
Investing a handful of added seconds to use the correct equipment will save a great deal of time, money and problems. In addition to using safety equipment, warehouse workers have to be discouraged from obstructing fire sprinkler heads with inventory, emergency doors with equipment or disabling the backup sounds on their forklifts; simply because they’re “annoying.”
Hold regular safety training sessions
If your crew is practicing hazardous behaviors, it is not because they want to get hurt. It is because they may not understand the right and safe procedures, or they don’t think there’s any threat from not following them. If they don’t know why they should stick to safe procedures, employees aren’t going to do them. Corners will be cut to save time and effort.
Through culture and training, management can make employees aware. Train your crew on the significance of proper safety, and don’t foster a culture that encourages safety risks.
Prioritize Lock Out, Tag Out
Heavy machinery often contains stored up energy, that when released, can cause serious injury. The Lock Out, Tag Out system is a very effective way to keep workers away from potentially dangerous situations involving stored energy in heavy machinery. All employees, not just warehouse workers, should be trained on the importance of Lock Out, Tag Out.
Just like a golfer yelling “Fore!” when a golf ball is headed in someone’s direction, your employees should be communicating to each other about potentially dangerous warehouse situations. Often, communication is built on strong interpersonal relationships, so don’t overlook the importance of team-building exercises when it comes to foster good communication among your warehouse team.
At Cornerstone, we support all the safety initiatives of our clients. For more tips download out eBook, Top 10 Ways to Hire Safe Workers. If your organization is currently looking for a talent acquisition partner, please contact us today.