There’s a lot going on in a warehouse at any given time. Workers are loading and unloading packages at the dock. Forklifts zoom between the aisles. It’s the perfect picture of productivity. However, with so much activity comes the potential for disaster. That’s why, as an owner or manager, you need a plan for how to keep warehouse workers safe.
Training helps promote warehouse safety in two ways. It gives employees the tools to prevent accidents and respond to accidents quickly when they occur. Training sets a foundation for all your employees, giving them a common language. This helps avoid breakdowns in communication which commonly lead to accidents.
Regular Machine Maintenance
Warehouse accidents can result from the use of heavy machinery, especially forklifts. While proper equipment operations training is the first step toward avoiding accidents, it can’t protect workers if machinery is faulty or damaged. Warehouses should implement a daily inspection checklist that includes items like:
- Tire pressure
- Fluid levels
- Battery charge
- Safety lights
Additionally, managers should emphasize that employees shouldn’t ignore machinery damage, even if it seems minor. For instance, cracks in rubber seals can lead to leaks in the machine’s final drive motors. Even if an employee can’t fix the issue themselves, they should report it.
Anyone who has worked in warehouses can tell you that cluttered and disorganized facilities are less productive and less profitable. Additionally, they’re more dangerous. Clutter makes it difficult for forklifts to maneuver the aisles, increasing the risk of accidents that put operators and pedestrians at risk.
Plan for Emergencies
Not all warehouse safety issues occur because of the normal hustle and bustle of the warehouse. Some are outside of our control, stemming from elements like emergency weather or fires. In these instances, keeping warehouse workers safe requires planning ahead. Staff should go over protocols for evacuation or sheltering in place during different emergencies.