In a high-traffic, high-volume, sometimes downright hectic environment such as a thriving warehouse, there can be no room for error, and there can be no room for safety hazards. Every process needs to run smoothly and every task needs to be handled efficiently, safely, and effectively in order to maximize performance that will ultimately factor into a positive ROI.
In essence, your warehouse needs to run like a Swiss clock, and in order to achieve this, workplace safety is imperative. Building a thriving company culture starts with satisfying the most basic needs of your employees, so let’s map out your road towards creating a truly safe warehouse for a successful future.
It all begins with employee training and re-education
Before you consider other safety solutions that will boost productivity and efficiency, you first need to think about proper employee training and how it affects overall safety in the workplace. Not only do your employees need to be working in a perpetually stress-free environment, but if you take the time to teach the proper lifting, transporting, handling, storing, and retrieval methods to every employee, you will have an easier time maintaining peak performance without the risk of human error or injuries.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that people are not machines, and that no matter how long or frequently they perform a certain task, it’s always a good idea to re-educate them on the proper processes that will boost efficiency and safety. This way, your employee collective will be more productive throughout the year.
Ensure floor safety across the facility
When it comes to concrete safety measures and solutions you can introduce into your facility, you should take into consideration the quality of flooring and its purpose. Arguably, flooring optimisation is the single most important aspect of a safe and productive warehouse that cannot be skipped. Flooring matters for various reasons, from boosting efficiency and performance to keeping your employees safe from slips, falls, and injuries.
With that in mind, consider protecting your concrete floors with long-lasting epoxy paint flooring solutions that will give the surface an extra protective layer and safeguard it from bumps, falls, slips, and of course, high-volume traffic on a daily basis. Combining the protective flooring solution with signs, directional markers, and strategically positioned mirrors will help you take your warehouse safety to the next level.
Creating a safe shelving process
Handling and storing goods on shelves and pallet racks is not a simple one-two step process, but rather it’s a task that requires a methodical and exact approach in order to minimise mishaps and ensure continuous employee safety. With that in mind, your employees need to be able to know how to distribute the loads across the shelves, and know exactly how much weight a certain shelf or pallet can hold.
Along with these requirements, your employees also need to keep in mind the basic SKU organisation methods, in order to position the goods for optimal storage and retrieval. Adhering to these simple rules will not only help your employees maintain top performance in the workplace, but also avoid errors and mishaps.
Optimise forklift operations
Speaking of optimizing SKUs for proper storage and retrieval, forklifts should be operated safely and efficiently at all times, and that is where employee education, as well as concrete interior solutions, come into play. The first step towards ensuring forklift safety is making sure that only certified and authorised personnel operate these vehicles.
The second step requires you to clearly and effectively mark all laneways in the facility, separating forklift and foot traffic; install bumpers on your racking structures as well and don’t forget to inspect and repair any damaged racks in order to prevent endangering the safety of the driver. The forklift should also be equipped with a detailed user’s manual, just in case.
Ventilation, sanitation, and conditioning
Finally, your warehouse can only become the epitome of safety once you have complemented the aforementioned solutions with proper ventilation, insulation, and sanitation. Not only does a clean environment foster employee satisfaction, but when paired with proper ventilation it can boost mental clarity and focus, effectively dealing with safety issues.
The facility also needs to be properly insulated in order to maintain ideal working conditions in terms of interior temperature levels and in order to avoid the risk of employees suffering from excessive heat or cold that can lead to numerous problems in the workplace.
Warehouse safety is not an option, it’s a requirement and a necessity if you are to build a reputable business worthy of long-term success in the industry. With these safety measures in mind, you will have no problem complying with industry laws and regulations, and maintaining a thriving work collective that will take your business forward.