If there is any department of your company where safety is of the utmost importance, it is the warehouse. The warehouse is not only one of the most important nerve centers of your business – where products are stored and shipped to customers – but it is also the place where the most damage can occur. Not only can workers get injured, from things like heavy falling items and machinery, but your product can get damaged too, which can cost your business a lot of money in the long run. This is why safety rules are important and sticking to them is vital to the success and efficiency of your shipping department. Here are 5 general warehouse safety rules.
- Keep everything organized. Any time you have items out of place, you could possibly have an injury. This includes warehouse racks, lifts, and any items left in pathways. So, you want to include all the protocols in your list of safety rules when it comes to warehouse organization. Usually a warehouse won’t organize itself – you must train your workers. This means having dedicated spaces for forklifts and putting everything away at the end of a workday.
- Learn all of the hazards. Those skull and crossbones signs on containers mean that you have to be as careful as humanly possible when transporting or moving around the warehouse with a forklift. That sign that has an image of two eyes looking red and bloodshot means that the item you are moving can cause significant damage to your eyes or can even make you blind. So, make sure to wear goggles. When it comes to warehouse safety, learning and memorizing all of these hazard signs is critical. If items don’t have hazard signs, make sure to add them.
- Wear safety gear. Too many warehouse injuries could have been avoided or minimized if only it was a part of safety protocol to wear protective gear. This protective gear not only includes hardhats and elbow and kneepads, but also waistbands to protect workers’ backs from extremely heavy lifting. You might also want to make sure employees where gloves or even masks if your warehouse is dealing with hazardous materials. Not only can a work injury be devastating for the employee, but it can affect your business too.
- Fix all bumps, holes, and slick spots on the floor of your warehouse. Not only can these imperfections pose a potential tripping hazard, but they can also pose a risk to warehouse vehicles. For instance, if a forklift is traveling down a pathway and runs over a large hole or dent in the floor, it could cause an accident. Not only can this injure the employee, but also you could risk damaging equipment and losing merchandise.
- Have properly marked exits and entrances. With the right signage – as to where exits and entrances are – employees can avoid confusion and collisions. If you have an especially busy warehouse, signs are incredibly important to not only safety, but also the efficiency of your business’s warehouse. Safety and efficiency is the recipe for success – and happy employees too.