Your Warehouse Safety Checklist

Man checking out his warehouse safety checklist to make sure his workplace is safe from hazards.

Warehouses are big places, and they are full of hazards. But, as a prudent business owner or executive, it is your responsibility to ensure a safe haven for all of your employees..

Your First Line Of Defense: Warehouse Managers

One crucial step you can take toward ensuring a safe and healthy environment for your staff is to hire a warehouse manager. This is an individual with unrivaled experience in every aspect of warehouse operation and management. They will understand, among other things, what pieces of equipment you need to effectively provide products and services to your clients, and how to target and identify potential issues.

Hazards Abound in Warehouses

In an industrial environment, dangers lurk around every corner. You might, for example, have machines that require a safety switch to be flipped before they are operated on, or there could be substantial oil spills. Spend some time thoroughly inspecting your entire building, from the warehouse to the front office. You’ll also want to routinely have your machinery, including your forklifts and company vehicles, inspected for issues that might create a haphazard environment.

Training Is Key for Warehouse Safety

Training is essential in any career, but perhaps even more so for dealing with employees that handle heavy equipment or dangerous products. Make sure that every member of your crew is trained in all aspects of your business and knows how to handle potential issues, such as spills, in the workplace. A lack of training may result in employee downtime, lost products, or, worse, fatal injuries, like that of a 20-year old logging worker, which was the topic of a press release by OSHA in 2016.

Stock and Storage

Warehouses are built for storage, but if your inventory is stored incorrectly, it can lead to disaster. Improperly stored goods may easily become damaged or linger precariously on high shelves, where they could potentially cause an accident. Prioritize safe storage and insist on best layout practices. You will also want to ensure that each employee is well-versed on lifting techniques, including by hand or via forklift. Common tips to avoid warehouse accidents include protecting trafficked areas with rack guards, performing regular inspections, and anchoring storage racking securely to the floor.

Keep Your Warehouse Clean

A clean and organized warehouse will make it easier for you to comply with any specific regulations in your industry. It will also prove to your employees that you have their best interests in mind. Make cleaning a regular part of the workday, and ensure that you schedule downtime for deep cleanings. Create a checklist of tasks to be performed by either your in-house employees or contracted cleaning crew. Make sure that each individual involved in the cleaning process has access to the tools they need to get the job done without having to make adjustments to the plan as they go. Your cleaning endeavors should also include purging clutter and encouraging your employees to point out ways to enhance safety and cleanliness.

Safety is your number one priority. The tips above can help ensure that your entire staff enjoys the highest level of security possible. One last piece of advice: communicate. Communication at all stages is essential toward implementing and continuing to enjoy safe warehouse strategies.

Contributing Author: Burt Sims

Burt Sims is a former workplace safety consultant whose job was to prevent on-site accidents in manufacturing facilities. He continues to advocate safety not just in the workplace but even at home by being prepared and equipped with knowledge and simple skills. He shares this passionately through his page

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