Like many other things about your warehousing business, there are plenty of working hazards that are unique to your operation and which both employees on the floor and managers have to account for. The twin goal of any organization should be working as efficiently as possible and keeping workers safe every single second they're on the job — and these two considerations have a big impact on one another.
Not sure where to begin? We have some suggestions that should help you get there:
1) Make sure everyone knows about every hazard
The first thing you need to do as an organization is go through your facility and identify every potential hazard any worker might run up against in a given day, according to Industrial Safety & Hygiene News. Once you have done that, you can begin educating people about how to avoid those pitfalls so they can keep performing at the highest possible level.
2) Keep it clean
Cleanliness may not seem like it's necessarily a safety issue, but you have to be proactive about it for more than just aesthetic reasons, ISHN said. For instance, a single piece of debris on the floor or a small puddle can create a slipping or tripping hazard for an individual that isn't paying attention, or cause a forklift to dangerously lose traction. As such, cleaning up should be a top priority.
3) Make emergency items conspicuous
In the event that an emergency does take place during work hours, it's important that employees know exactly how to respond, according to EHS Daily Advisor. Beyond the basic safety training they receive, you will also want to make it obvious where things like first-aid kits, fire extinguishers and emergency exits are located, so they can be put to use easily.
4) Keep paths clear
This is part and parcel with cleanliness, but it also refers to keeping equipment like lifts, pallet jacks, crates and more out of the way in high-traffic areas, EHS Daily Advisor added. Sometimes keeping them in an aisle or the like is a necessary part of the job, but if it's not, employees need to be proactive about putting them back where they belong.
5) Give them the proper safety gear and make sure they use it
For any task they're asked to complete, your workers should have adequate safety equipment and all the necessary training to use it properly, according to the Adaptalift Group. When you're putting a greater organizational emphasis on the importance of PPE, everyone stands to benefit, but that also means making sure there's a culture of accountability in which workers actually use that equipment, even if it's for a task they've safely completed dozens of times before.
6) Put up warning signs wherever they're needed
Finally, it's one thing to train everyone on all the proper safety standards and behaviors; it's another to reinforce those expectations, the Adaptalift Group advised. Putting up conspicuous signage about where certain proper behaviors are needed and what potential hazards exist is vital to creating the visual reminder of best practices.