Warehouse safety procedures are often overlooked due to insufficient time or inadequate resources. However, when a safe environment is maintained, many benefits can be realized, such as increased worker loyalty, reduced costs, improved quality, etc.
Safe employees are loyal employees. By ensuring your workers are safe from potential workplace hazards, you generate trust. Involving workers in safety meetings and committees shows you have their best interests at heart. When ensured of their safety, workers respond by being loyal and having more pride in their assigned tasks.
Injuries cost companies working hours and lead to increased insurance premiums and worker compensation rates. Your business could even face a lawsuit. A serious injury can also affect other workers emotionally, lowering morale in the workplace.
Safe work environments tend to be more efficient. Such conditions enhance focus, allowing employees to work without distractions and concentrate more on the outcome of their work. An increase in product quality may generate more sales and higher profit margins.
A company that maintains a safe environment for its workers is held in high esteem by the public. Indeed, organizations with high safety standards are trusted more than those that neglect them, which may result in more customers.
Employees have the right to report an unsafe workplace. When legal action is taken against your business, it can have catastrophic effects. Injured workers can sue for various expenses, including medical costs and lost wages.
Following are a few practical tips to help keep your warehouse safe.
Heavy items should be lifted by forklifts or hydraulic lift dollies. When necessary, workers should wear protective equipment such as hard hats and safety goggles. Emergency exits must be clearly indicated, and fire sprinklers should be operational at all times.
Make certain your warehouse is free of falling or slipping hazards. Floors should be free of cords, stray cables, liquids and other potentially dangerous items. Cracks on floors must be dealt with immediately, as they can cause severe injuries to workers and damage machinery.
Before lifting a load, first determine the best method to use. If the load is not heavy and lifting is the ideal choice, check the route for obstacles. Also, ensure there is ample space for the object at its destination. Keep in mind that the load should not obstruct your view and always utilize safe lifting methods. These include pushing rather than pulling, leaning in a forward direction and using all material-handling equipment correctly. Never operate a forklift or any other lifting machinery if you have not had training or permission.
Put dangerous equipment in an area that has been clearly labeled using tape or black and white stripes on floors. This will make employees aware of dangerous places in the warehouse, which is crucial in avoiding injury.
Employees must be trained on using safe practices in the warehouse. This will increase the likelihood of the rules being followed. Most accidents are caused by failure to adhere to the prescribed guidelines.
Philip Piletic would like to thank Bremco for its help with this article. Bremco is one of the leading Australian manufacturers of safety equipment for forklifts and other warehouse-related items.