The new year is upon us, which means a chance to start fresh when it comes to proper warehouse safety practices. Creating a safe warehouse is one of the keys to running an efficient and productive operation. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. Use these warehouse safety tips to make 2017 a safe and productive year in the warehouse.
Perhaps the most important aspect of warehouse safety is proper training. Forklift operators should be properly trained for the specific vehicle they will be using. Supervisors should regularly monitor and assess operators and provide refresher training if they witness any issues.
Training does not only apply to forklift operators, but the entire staff of a warehouse. Managers should outline the safety standards for the warehouse as a whole, fostering an environment that puts safety above all else.
Training is not a one-and-done system. Regular safety checks and training sessions should be performed throughout the year. As a warehouse grows, evolves, and acquires new equipment or systems, so should its training methods.
Safe maintenance applies to a number of areas in the warehouse. Firstly, there’s machinery. All forklifts and trucks should receive routine maintenance and service, as well as pre-checks before each use. If any issues are found, do not use the machine and have it serviced as quickly as possible.
Maintenance also applies to maintaining a clean, organized environment. Warehouse aisles should be clear of any clutter, debris, or spills to allow easy access and maneuvering for both employees and forklifts.
Safe operations in the warehouse depend in many ways on proper training. Forklift operators and employees working in fields that require special training should only operate the systems or models they have been trained to use.
Safe operations also depend on signage and the appropriate safety measures in place. Emergency exits and routes are clearly marked, stairs are accompanied by hand railings, areas where employees could fall more than four feet are roped off, and employees use the necessary safety equipment, such as hard hats, gloves, and protective eyewear footwear.
The final key to creating a safe warehouse is competent, regular supervision. Managers and supervisors are responsible for catching and remedying any unsafe practices employees may be performing, ensuring that only the best practices are being used throughout the warehouse. And of course, supervisors should be trained and familiar with all of the safety practices put in place in the warehouse.
Warehouse safety is about informing, educating, and communicating. These steps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to warehouse safety. OSHA provides detailed checklists for a range of warehouse safety measures, which can be found here. Follow these tips to get the ball rolling on warehouse safety for the new year.