Having an efficient warehouse means nothing if there is no safety protocol to go along with it. These measures are designed to protect both the employees working in the distribution center and the products stored within it. No matter how large or small your warehouse may be, you need to make sure that you have practices in place to keep everyone involved as safe as possible. Here are five warehouse safety tips for you to follow.
Mark Dangerous Work Zones
Have an area of the warehouse that stores dangerous or heavy equipment that could easily hurt someone? Make sure that area is clearly marked so employees know to proceed with extra precaution around there. If you have painted or epoxy flooring, you could change your floor colors to mark dangerous zones, walkways, paths for forklifts, and more. You could also paint the walls, doors, and shelving in the area to reflect the level of danger there. Just make sure that your employees and guests alike know where they can and cannot go in the warehouse.
Keep the Warehouse Clean at All Times
Cleanliness is another important element for warehouse safety protocol because it reduces the risks of slipping, falling, tripping, etc. Your warehouse should be maintained like a showroom, free of empty boxes and trash that someone could accidentally trip over. If a spill happens, clean it up right away. Set up a cleaning routine for the floors, shelving, equipment, offices, and any other spaces in the warehouse. Teach your employees to clean up after themselves as they work, and they will not have as much to clean up at the end of the day. If everyone does his or her part, the distribution center will be much cleaner as a whole.
Organize the Warehouse Well
Having a solid organization scheme will not only improve the productivity levels for your warehouse, but it will also keep your employees safe. The better organized you are, the easier it is for your employees to find and put away items in the warehouse. This leads to less time spent wandering around and running into one another. Your labeling system will play a critical role in the success of your warehouse’s organization, so make sure that all of your products are properly labeled. Get an efficient inventory management system that is compatible with your labeling program, and you will see great success across the board.
Train and Re-Train Your Employees
Safety training is extremely important in warehousing and distribution. While most warehouses know to train their employees when they first get hired, many choose not to do follow up training throughout the year. At least once every quarter, you should have a meeting with your staff to go over safety protocol. Discuss different ways you may be able to improve the safety in your warehouse, and implement any new strategies that come about from the discussion. If you switch over to new equipment, new uniforms, or anything else along those lines, make sure you have a safety meeting to address the changes to come.
Maintain and Replace Your Equipment
Every piece of equipment you use in your warehouse requires a different set of maintenance. Follow the maintenance plans for your equipment carefully, and be proactive about repairs. Small problems can quickly turn into big ones if you let them go too long. You could save yourself a lot of money in replacement equipment by simply taking care of the tools and machines you already have. With proper maintenance, you will greatly reduce the safety hazards in your warehouse, and you will protect your employees from preventable accidents.