Employee safety should be of great concern to every employer. Everything from the safety of the building to the way procedures are carried out is their responsibility. Safety measures need to be in place by law, but there are changes you can make, above and beyond regulation, that can improve your warehouse safety tenfold. The safety and wellbeing of your employees should be a top priority as lack of safety can be costly to you. 

We’ve gathered a few tips and tricks for improving your warehouse safety. Take a look below and start making your workplace safer today.

1. Safe vehicle and equipment usage

Anyone who is using vehicles or machinery should have been fully trained, if not certified, in the use of it. Forklifts in particular cause a huge number of injuries, around 95,000, every year. To use a forklift, an employer must be aged over 18 and fully certified before use.

Other ways you can improve the safety of vehicle operation within your warehouse are by adding bumpers to racking and columns and having strict disciplinary procedures for anyone misusing the equipment. 

2. Personal protective equipment

PPE must be provided to every employee. PPE includes suitable footwear, usually steel-capped boots, hard hats, masks, and goggles. High visibility clothing is also helpful in increasing safety as it makes pedestrians much easier to see from vehicles.

3. Moving and handling

In 2018/19, 6.9 million workdays were lost due to injuries from poor moving and handling. This shows the need for proper training for every employee in the correct way to lift and move objects.

With 20% of non-fatal accidents happening in the workplace in 18/19 because of poor moving and handling, this is an obvious and easy way to improve the safety of your warehouse. 

4. Shelf and racking safety

Every shelf will have a maximum weight and employees should be trained in the correct way to distribute this weight evenly across the shelves to ensure their safety. Furthermore, employees should also be trained to ensure that no objects are loose or able to fall from the shelves.

Falling objects caused 10% of non-fatal injuries in the workplace in 2018/19, so with proper training, this figure could easily be decreased.

Furthermore, ensuring the safety of shelf and racking systems in your warehouse not only prevents inventory loss but also guards against workplace injuries. To complement the training on weight distribution and securing objects on shelves, familiarizing your team with essential pallet rack safety tips can drastically reduce accidents related to falling objects and collapse. These guidelines provide in-depth insights into avoiding common hazards and implementing stringent safety measures. 

5. Signage

Proper signage can increase the safety of your warehouse in seconds. Brightly colored signage should already be in place to indicate emergency stations, such as fire exits, first aid kits, and eye washing stations.

For increased safety, try adding signage for vehicles, such as floor markings. Adding in-floor markings can separate vehicles from pedestrians and decrease the number of collisions in your warehouse. 

6. Guard rails or stanchions 

And another way to separate pedestrians and vehicles could be to add in guard rails or stanchions. Not only will this decrease the number of collisions, but it will also ensure that vehicle operators move more slowly and with more concentration around the warehouse.

7. Working at a height

The biggest cause of fatal accidents and a ¼ of all workplace deaths in 2018/19, working at a height must be carried out with extreme care. Employees must pass training in the proper procedures for working at a height. Of course, they must also avoid it wherever possible.

Proper machinery, such as MEWP, should be used and must be used by fully trained and certified (where necessary) employees. 

8. Lighting

Good lighting is a very simple way to increase safety in your warehouse. For instance, being able to see signage, walkways, and equipment properly can ensure that procedures are carried out safely.

Hazards are easier to avoid and dealt with if you can see them properly. Therefore, fitting adequate lighting can improve the safety of your workplace.

9. Regular retraining

Regular team meetings and retraining sessions can ensure that you can keep all team members up to date with safety procedures. So, covering common causes of workplace incidents, such as slips and trips, can help to keep employees aware of hazards and potential incidents throughout their time in employment. 

10. Employee wellbeing

Fatigue, exhaustion, and other distractions can cause accidents and incidents in the workplace. Employees who are overtired or overworked may not be as focused, nor as alert, as is necessary to maintain proper safety standards.

As an employer, you can ensure employees’ wellbeing by making sure their shifts aren’t too long, that they are getting enough breaks for the shifts they are working, and that there is enough time for adequate rest in between shifts.

Employee wellbeing, both in terms of physical safety and mental, is your responsibility as an employer, and properly looking after it can ensure a more productive and focussed team.

Conclusion on Warehouse Safety

The safety of your warehouse and your staff is your responsibility as an employer. Following regulations can ensure this safety and add in extra precautions can only increase the safety of the workplace. 

In case you need any assistance feel free to contact us!