How to Make a Warehouse Safe for Employees
A warehouse can be a risky environment, and it’s up to business owners to keep it as safe for employees as possible. This helps promote productivity as well as ensure you meet regulatory guidelines.
The following are some of the important things to do in 2023 if you run a warehouse to make sure you’re limiting your risk exposure and creating a safe environment for everyone.
Hire Line Painters
Warehouse line painting is also known as warehouse floor marking. With warehouse line painting services, you can improve both safety and productivity. These floor marketing systems are a way to convey safety information, regulate your facility’s traffic and organize workstations.
Essentially, these line markings are a form of visual communication that promotes not just safety but efficiency.
These visual guidelines show where products and equipment should be, so your employees can navigate the facility easily. As part of hiring line painters, warehouse managers should create forklift paths. These help employees stay out of the way of forklifts as they’re moving. Then, you can host training sessions and provide maps so that people understand what these paths are.
Understand Common Injuries
If you know the nature of the most common injuries that occur in warehouse environments, then you can help promote safety because you can take specific steps to reduce the risk of these.
One of the biggest safety issues is accidents involving heavy equipment.
Reasons for these accidents include crowded warehouses and inadequate safety training.
The next most common reason for injuries are slips, trips, and falls. This can be because the floors are dirty, slippery, or uneven, and it’s, for the most part, an easy fix.
Exposure to chemicals is a risk, and again making sure employees are well-trained on how to handle chemicals and store them can reduce this risk.
Being hit by items that fall is a potential warehouse risk that can be mitigated by training employees on operational setup and working to reduce human error.
Identify Hazardous Zones
A well-organized warehouse is going to be one that’s inherently safer, and as part of this, you want to identify hazardous zones.
Signs and stickers, along with the line painting mentioned above, are ways to let employees know what everything is and warn them of anything they need to know. You should label your racks as well as your materials and equipment.
Also, make sure emergency exists, and safety routes are clearly marked.
Optimize your entire layout for safety and efficiency. Set everything up so that it flows logically, which allows for easy movement for your people and also machinery. When your layout is logical and easy to understand, then your employees can respond to a variety of situations more efficiently too.
Set Dress Code Standards
Warehouse employees need to dress appropriately to stay safe.
If they work around machinery, then they need steel-toed boots, for example. If there are high items stored, then employees should be required to wear hard hats. For employees who are working around machines, another safety tip is that they should wear clothing that fits close to the body.
If you’re running a warehouse, you should clearly define your dress code and let employees know what they can and can’t wear. Provide a clear “why” to them as well, so they understand the importance.
If relevant, supply personal protective equipment or PPE to your warehouse employees. Hard hats might be the minimum that you provide. You might also think about providing gloves, safety goggles, or steel-toed boots.
Regularly Inspect All Equipment
Make time to inspect all equipment and machinery at regular intervals.
If you’re keeping everything maintained and repaired when needed, then it reduces the risk of an equipment or machinery failure that could cause injuries. Even for those pieces of equipment that aren’t used that often, you should still inspect and maintain them.
Communication in the workplace is always beneficial, and warehouse environments are no exception. You want to communicate everything to employees in person and in writing. This includes your safety rules, regulations that need to be followed, policies, methods, and standards.
Regularly retrain employees to make sure they are up-to-date on everything related to safety.
You can also go directly to your warehouse employees to get insight into what safety concerns they have or the gaps they feel exist that could be remedied to help them more effectively and safely do their jobs.