Safety is crucial in warehouse operations. There is a lot of heavy merchandise and machinery in the building that can cause serious injury in the wrong hands. Here we will explore some warehouse safety practices that prevent common accidents in distribution centers.
Stacking is a great way to maximize space in a warehouse. If the items are not stacked properly though, they could fall and injure something. This is especially true for round cylinders, which may roll over when stacked on something else. Consider how easily an item will fall when placing it on a shelf, and avoid stacking heavy loads on top of loads you need easy access to. Use extreme caution when moving heavy loads, and train employees to stand outside the loading area until the object is stable.
Forklifts are amazing tools in a warehouse, but they are also dangerous to use. Workers must be thoroughly trained on warehouse safety protocol when using forklifts. These machines should be inspected regularly, and any mechanical issues should be addressed before the forklift goes back on the floor. Make sure the machine is equipped with lights, mirrors, alarms, and anything else necessary to keep the warehouse workers safe.
Along these lines, you also need to think about areas in the warehouse that affect forklift operations. For instance, if there is a blind corner in a path that forklift operators use, install mirrors so they can see from all angles. If there is a blockage in an area they need, find somewhere else to put those objects so the forklifts can get through safely.
Trip and fall hazards are easily avoidable. Clean spilled liquid right away, and put up signs while the floors are drying. Keep aisles clean and organized, and use anti-slip tape in walkways. Place reflective tape on steps that employees may have a hard time noticing, and require employees to ware proper shoes at all times in the warehouse – even when they are not working. If there is an area that people tend to trip in, find the appropriate warehouse safety measures to eliminate the problem.
Some accidents in a warehouse may be the result of poor lighting. Use as much natural lighting as possible throughout the day, but don't forget to turn on the actual lights in dark areas. You can set these to a timer so they automatically turn on as needed. You may need different light settings for nighttime workers to accommodate for the missing sunlight.
Your employees may become complacent with warehouse safety practices over time. To prevent that, have monthly or quarterly safety meetings to remind everyone how to behave in the warehouse. If there are specific issues that need to be addressed, like a zone that is frequently disorganized, you can discuss that during your meetings and come up with a solution. As long as everyone remains educated and diligent in their safety efforts, you will see a minimum number of accidents in your warehouse.
For more information about warehousing, Contact Overflo at 1-800-626-0616
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