There’s been a huge push on coronavirus-related safety measures in warehouses. This work must continue, but here are some less urgent safety priorities in warehouses that still need close attention. These are 10 tips to make your warehouse safer.
As warehouses generate a wide range of risks, the need for protective clothing and equipment is not something we need to spell out to you. Items such as hardhats, goggles and machine guards are on every conscientious employer’s purchasing list.
However, some companies go above and beyond Health & Safety compliance. Not least as an obvious commitment to safety improves staff loyalty and attracts new recruits better. Plus, you avoid productivity issues due to delays and disruptions caused by frustrating safety mishaps and oversights!
As a quick reminder – or to give you some fresh ideas – here are ten tips to make your warehouse safer.
1 – A sign of the times
You’ve recently installed safe distance signs on your warehouse floor, one-way arrows and posters to promote handwashing and mask-wearing. With all this important messaging to co-ordinate, it’s a great time to review other warehouse signage too. Leaving room for confusion or ambiguity means staff tripping over themselves to get their job done and poor time management. It also increases the chance of safety issues.
A thorough evaluation of all warehouse signage is wise, from labels, hanging signs and safety markers on racking, to waymarkers for exits and areas of danger for example.
2 – Weighty matters
Despite the upsurge in automated technology, warehouses inevitably require some degree of lifting and carrying. Back injuries are the blight of all manual professions. Regularly assess weight restrictions for your storage racks and lifting mechanisms, and make sure warning labels and staff information are unfailingly up to date.
3 – Non-slip solutions
Don’t just look up when reviewing warehouse safety. Being a careful employer starts at ground level. Have you got enough anti-slip measures in place, and are they still doing their job properly?
Anti-slip stair treads and adhesive anti-slip tapes are one of the best safety inventions, not least as they are cheap but effective. You can also buy anti-slip footprints to direct pedestrian activity, including one-way walking for COVID-control.
4 – Don’t waste time, manage waste!
Proper waste management is about meeting productivity, recycling and space-saving targets. Which is why items such as racksacks are a brilliant invention. However, keeping waste moving out of the way and segregated into racksacks makes your workspace safer too. Less clutter means fewer trip hazards or no rubbish to interfere with machinery.
5 – Protectors on protrusions
Another tip for safer warehouses is to review what stands out in your workspace. Corners, pillars, doorways and posts may all need a rethink, to protect them and your vehicles and staff. Versatile high visibility, impact-absorbent materials slot around anything that protrudes, protecting every edge and corner. Including polyWRAP column protectors and safety ends.
6 – Keeping the team informed
Logical access to vital safety and operational information is also important. Keeping your commercial display boards, H&S documents and inspection documentation well maintained includes using the latest products for visibility and clarity. Modular shadow boards are ideal for this.
7 – Know your limits; staff training
This links to the above safety tip for modern warehouses. When you’re under pressure to reach performance targets, don’t overestimate the level of your workforce’s understanding and awareness. Not everyone retains knowledge or learns at the same pace. Ongoing staff training modules and refreshers are wise.
8 – Face shield hard hat attachment
We couldn’t provide a list of tips for warehouse safety without mentioned an ingenious invention recently added to our H&S and COVID-safety ranges. We now stock durable, wipe-clean face shields that can be worn easily with hard hats. It’s a great way to solve the issue of wearing two types of protective equipment simultaneously!
9 – Vehicle access guides and controls
Much of the above involves safety inside warehouses. A review of exterior systems, markers and guides could also be long overdue. For instance, are your speed-reducing ramps showing wear and tear, or could traffic flow be improved by high-vis plastic posts and chains you can relocate swiftly?
10 – Upwards and onwards
Ladders and steps must be checked daily, as they are one of the biggest risks in warehouse operations. Your H&S obligations also require in-depth safety assessments regularly. To keep tabs on this, put an asset tag marker on each piece of equipment with a handy checklist and a system to mark inspection dates.
Best safety product supplies
There is a common thread in all of these ten safety tips for warehouses. You need a supplier of quality products to keep you on top of communication, control and risk management in your workspace. So, tip 11 is to browse our range or call to discuss your safety shopping list.