Warehouses play an essential role in different industries. Without them, entire markets and economies would grind to a halt. But they can also be dangerous places to work in. Without the proper precautions, warehouses are often known for accidents that lead to severe injuries and sometimes even loss of life. There is no shortage of statistics that prove this. However, if you implement strict rules and regulations, and provide the proper equipment, you can prevent hazards and enjoy quick and reliable warehouse operations.
Here are some ways to make your warehouse safer and more productive:
Allow Only Certified Personnel to Operate Forklifts
Forklifts are an integral part of warehouse and storage operations. Operated correctly and by the right personnel, forklifts can make work easier, faster, and safer. In the wrong hands, however, a forklift can be a recipe for disaster. To prevent issues, allow only certified personnel to use your forklifts. Your certified staff should also join regular refresher training sessions to update and reinforce their skills and knowledge. You should also have your forklifts regularly inspected by professionals. These types of equipment have moving parts that are subject to wear and tear. Before operating a forklift, your personnel should also do a quick checkup of the machine.
Ensure Neat and Safe Storage of Tools and Equipment
Parking your forklifts and other such equipment in your warehouse should be done at the end of every workday. Provide a parking space; don’t just leave them standing around everywhere. Smaller tools, devices, and other equipment should also have their storage and safekeeping areas. You can buy shadow boards online for your wrenches and other tools; shadow boards make it easier to locate tools when needed and to determine which ones have not been returned yet. At the end of a workday, the floor of your warehouse should be free of tripping and slipping hazards and clutter.
For storing chemicals and other similar materials, a dedicated area that is off-limits to unauthorized personnel can help prevent loss, misuse, and accidents.
Have a Lockout/Tagout Program in Place
A lockout/tagout (LOTO) program can help prevent accidents related to energized equipment. All energized equipment should be shut off after use and declared off-limits to unauthorized personnel. Without a LOTO program in place, it would be easy for employees to get caught between mechanical parts, or to get electrocuted or exposed to substances or radiation. Such a program requires adequate training, and your employees should attend regularly.
Provide Personal Protection to Your Employees
Personal protective equipment (PPE) reduces the risks often associated with warehouses. Gloves, eye protection, hard hats, and the like have saved countless lives and limbs. Wearing PPEs is often mandated by law. Warehouses should always be PPE-wearing areas.
Place Appropriate Signs Wherever Needed
The right signs can save lives in your warehouse. They are there to remind your employees about safe practices and to warn others to stay away or to be more aware. Professionally made signs should be big enough and have appropriate lighting wherever they are placed.
Make It Easy to See in Your Warehouse
A warehouse without enough illumination is an unsafe warehouse. It is also unhealthy for employees to work in an environment where they have to strain their eyes or use a flashlight to see. Have your warehouse inspected to ensure all areas have the right type and amount of lighting, and no blind spots where accidents might occur.
Make your warehouse safe before an accident hurts an employee or worse. Follow these tips and get your warehouse audited for more improvements that elevate safety.