Your warehouse is a key part of your business. It forms the heart of your distribution center as products flow in from suppliers and out to customers. Warehouses are highly busy environments filled with heavy equipment, large boxes, heights, and forklifts. With all of these factors at play, maintaining a safe workplace is essential. Fortunately there are a number of steps that can be taken to further improve warehouse safety. With these tips, you will be able to take pride in knowing that your warehousing solutions are able to provide a secure and safe work environment.
Ensure Safe Forklift Operation
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports, there are around 95,000 injuries and 100 deaths every year from forklift accidents. Common causes of accidents include improper loading, running into (and toppling) shelves, and running over other workers. Forklift safety starts, but doesn’t stop, with ensuring only properly trained and certified workers operate the vehicle. Racking systems need to be protected as well, such as by installing bumpers at the end of the aisles and being quick to replace any damaged racks.
Storing products in a warehouse is more than just placing boxes on shelves. Making sure employees know how to distribute weight along a shelf, assess how much weight a given rack can (or can’t) take, and how to stack boxes for effective distribution and ease of access are all key parts of warehouse safety. Shortcuts should be discouraged here, since it is very possible for boxes to fall and land on nearby workers or for the entire rack to collapse if improperly managed.
Improve Employee Ergonomics
Physically and mentally strained employees are more prone to mistakes and injury. Improving workplace practices and training to manage this is an essential warehousing solution. For instance, employees should be trained in the proper ways to lift and carry loads well before they are sent to the floor. Proper use and supply of items like ladders, flatbeds, and similar equipment can also reduce strains, sprains, pulled muscles, and many other forms of injury or lost productivity.
Retraining and Refreshing
Undergoing training when first hired is fine for the initial period of a worker’s time with your company. After a while, however, things will be forgotten or change. Employees should undergo refresher training sessions in warehouse practices and safety to improve workplace safety. It is also important to have a set of formal, written warehousing safety standards and keep them posted in a public and frequently-trafficked location. Something as simple as a list by the fridge in the break room can help keep employees conscious of safety policies.
APS Fulfillment, Inc. is a specialist in direct mail marketing, warehousing solutions, and e-commerce product fulfillment. Visit our website for more tips on how to identify the best e-commerce, inventory, warehouse management, and shipping fulfillment strategies.