Tips for Improving Warehouse Safety

Creating a safe warehouse does not happen by accident

“Associates need to be trained rigorously to be more conscious of predictable hazards." ~ Kane Is Able

22. Consistently train on safe logistics operations. “There’s a whole universe of accident causes, but certain underlying reasons are clearly identifiable. Many accidents come in the form of slips, trips and falls, as well as injuries sustained while lifting. Often, they happen when people are hurrying and skirting basic safety procedures. Associates need to be trained rigorously to be more conscious of predictable hazards.” – How to Improve Logistics Safety Performance in Your OperationsKane Is Able; Twitter: @kaneisableinc

23. Create a safety culture. “Creating a safe warehouse does not happen by accident, it happens by planning to prevent accidents. Although forming a safety committee is a good first step toward building better worker safety practices, warehouse operators also need to work toward creating a ‘safety culture’ inside their facilities.

“‘Warehouse managers are accountable for safety. They need to be aware of that, and lead by example,’ says [health, safety, and environmental manager for Flour Constructors, Alex] Sierra. ‘All company employees should feel that safety is their responsibility—that is part of building a safety culture.’

“‘Maintaining an efficient safety culture is a continuous effort,’ [vice president of Safety Resources, Gary] Gagliardi agrees. ‘Safety is not a one-time deal; companies cannot accomplish a culture of safety with one or two yearly meetings. But emphasizing safety throughout the company has a positive influence on its success.’” – John Edwards, Warehouse Safety: It’s No AccidentInbound Logistics; Twitter: @ILMagazine

“Safety equipment is implemented in order to minimize workplace injury, so although it may be time-consuming to initiate its use, it does pay off in the long run." ~ Adaptalift Hyster

24. Ensure safety equipment is used at all times. “In the warehouse, it is vital that forklifts or hydraulic dollies are used to lift items that are too heavy. Appropriate eyewear and hard hats should also be worn when required. Employees should be aware of emergency exits and the sprinklers installed in the roof should not be blocked at any time. Safety equipment is implemented in order to minimize workplace injury, so although it may be time-consuming to initiate its use, it does pay off in the long run.” – Warehouse Safety Principles: 6 Key Guidelines to Keep Your Workplace SafeAdaptalift Hyster; Twitter: @aalhyster

25. Implement a real-time location system (RTLS). “Real-time location systems (RTLS) offer much more sophisticated geolocation technology, providing more in-depth data for monitoring. RTLS automatically track the locations of chosen objects in real time and build on the capabilities of RFID.

“RTLS tags can be attached to objects and people, enabling you to track and monitor their precise location continuously, not just when they come near a truck-mounted reader. As every tag continuously reports its location, you can collate a much more accurate picture of exactly where those objects are at any time across the workplace. This is particularly valuable when protecting employees in a dangerous environment.

“For example, if an employee needs immediate assistance they can push a call button connected to their tag. The accuracy of the tag means that even if that employee moves location, responders can find them quickly.” – Tim Young, The Top 3 Technologies to Improve Warehouse SafetyVero Solutions; Twitter: @solutions_vero

“With floor tape, you can mark out areas of your warehouse to keep pedestrians out of harm's way and ensure vehicles stay on the right side of the path." ~ Health & Safety Training Limited

26. Implement safe routes and traffic lanes with floor tape. “You should already know that keeping your pedestrian staff separate from your vehicle and forklift operators is essential to avoid dangerous collisions, but implementing safe routes and traffic lanes needn’t be costly or complex. With floor tape, you can mark out areas of your warehouse to keep pedestrians out of harm’s way and ensure vehicles stay on the right side of the path. The best thing about using tape is that it can be easily and quickly changed to suit a new layout or system of working, as and when you need to operate in different areas.” – 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Warehouse Safety TodayHealth & Safety Training Limited; Twitter: @hstukcom

27. Implement strict standards for safety. “Don’t make the warehouse an unsafe place for employees. If the staff isn’t trained properly, the result will be numerous accidents and high injury rates. Ensure that only the well-trained and experienced employees operate heavy duty equipment such as forklifts. Mark the safety protocols in the warehouse, such as indicating a safe distance from danger zones.” – Tips on Improving Warehouse ProductivityMaterial Handling & Logistics; Twitter: @MHLeditor

“While maintaining safety by keeping everything in its place, you’ll also create a system for locating and properly placing damaged or returned inventory." ~ Linda Ray

28. Keep spaces clean and clear. “When trash and excess merchandise are left out of place, they can bog down operations. Create a regular weekly cleaning schedule so that materials and garbage don’t get out of hand. While maintaining safety by keeping everything in its place, you’ll also create a system for locating and properly placing damaged or returned inventory. Part of the clearing process should include the creation of signage that marks locations for where items belong. New employees can follow directions without interrupting busy senior employees, while landmark and directional signs dress up the space and serving a useful purpose.” – Linda Ray, How to Increase Productivity in a Warehouseazcentral; Twitter: @azcentral

29. Post safety expectations. “Warehouse supervisors should ensure all safety expectations are posted clearly in close proximity to all equipment—forklifts, hydraulic dollies, hand jacks, etc. Doing so assures that employees have constant visual reminders of the inherent dangers of using such equipment, and the safety precautions they should take to avoid injury.” – Warehouse Safety Checklist: 8 Things Every Manager Should ReviewLegacy Supply Chain Services; Twitter: @LEGACYscs

“In the long run, however, a safe warehouse environment delivers important cost savings through higher employee satisfaction and increased productivity, fewer workplace disruptions, and reduced absenteeism and equipment downtime." ~ SmartTurn

30. Prioritize warehouse safety. “For those companies that fail to promote safety, it is often due to insufficient time, inadequate resources, or the opportunity to save money through corner cutting. In the long run, however, a safe warehouse environment delivers important cost savings through higher employee satisfaction and increased productivity, fewer workplace disruptions, and reduced absenteeism and equipment downtime. You can extend the life of your warehouse infrastructure, such as storage and material handling equipment, as well as reduce damage to inventory. Most importantly, don’t assume that a safe workplace carries a jaw-dropping price tag.

“While you will have to bear the cost (likely smaller than you think) of creating a culture of security in your operation, the responsibility buck also stops with you. Don’t expect employees to drive it; establishing a safety culture, including the requisite operational changes and training and education programs, starts with you.” – Inventory and Warehouse Management Best PracticesSmartTurn; Twitter: @DiCentral_EDI

31. Secure the warehouse. “Safeguard your facility by prohibiting unauthorized people near the inventory. This protects both your property and employees. Post signs in areas where only warehouse personnel are allowed. Install physical barriers in key areas. Consider badges or uniforms to more easily identify warehouse workers.” – 7 Ways to Improve Warehouse Efficiency, Storee Construction; Twitter:@Storeeconstruct

“Engineered from solid ductile iron with maintenance-free polypropylene, a crash barrier is ideal for creating clear traffic lanes and separating equipment from people." ~ Scott Tierny

32. Use crash barriers. “A crash barrier in combination with a pedestrian barrier is a force to be reckoned with (but not wrecked). Engineered from solid ductile iron with maintenance-free polypropylene, a crash barrier is ideal for creating clear traffic lanes and separating equipment from people. Because these barriers are flush to the ground, they also protect against forklifts protruding into the pedestrian area. Use both of the barriers and your employees will be virtually untouchable.” – Scott Tierny, 5 Ideas for Improving Warehouse Employee SafetyMcCue Corporation; Twitter: @McCueCorp

33. Use proper signage and safety labeling. “Make sure that your facility is clearly and properly labeled and marked to ensure that employees can easily identify safety hazards and other safety-related issues. This will help minimize safety issues in the warehouse.

“Picking and driving paths should be marked so that employees on foot know to watch out for warehouse vehicles. Any areas that pose the risk of electrical shock, exposure to chemicals, or other dangers should also be labeled according to industry and OSHA standards.

“Illuminate hazardous zones using tape or paint on the floor of the area so that employees can maintain awareness.” – 3 Ways to Improve Warehouse Safety for WorkersImprint Enterprises; Twitter: @imprintbarcode

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