Operating a warehouse well requires an efficient layout, good time management and attention to safety. Equipment may fail, loads may topple without warning, and cluttered areas may cause employees to trip and fall. The work varies and accidents are always a possibility; for example, warehouse machinery such as forklifts can cause serious injury when not used by a qualified operator.
The safety of your employees is always a priority. Aside from complying with the government’s Safe Work Australia health and safety regulations, a safe work environment also boosts productivity and prevents operational delays. Though it is difficult to prevent accidents from occurring completely, there are numerous safety measures you can implement to minimise the risk of injury.
1. Implement safety practices and codes strictly
Institute standard operating procedures (SOPs) and best practice codes into the company’s operating policy. Review, update and ensure the safety policy is easily accessible and understood ‒ you cannot always account for the activities of your employees, but through improved safety knowledge, staff are empowered to make sensible decisions to reduce risks in the workplace.
Give all new hires thorough safety policy training, including SOPs and best practices. By enforcing safety procedures through knowledge and practice, you build a culture of workplace safety. Once you have initiated the culture, compliance with safety procedures will follow more smoothly.
2. Ensure employees wear proper safety equipment at all times
Various tasks require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Ensure that PPE is in good working order and comply with the various safety standards and regulations. Also, make sure the workers use the PPE. Protective accessories such as vests and hard hats are often brightly coloured to ensure that the wearer can be seen from a distance.
Failing to comply can lead to serious workplace injury, not to mention the legal consequences of negligence claims over the firm’s responsibilities to its employees.
3. Install Protective Hardware and Amenities
While training employees goes a long way toward ensuring safety, it is still necessary to keep loads, structures, and machinery safe. Machinery and lifting equipment should remain separated from one another, to avoid collisions and to keep employees out of harm’s way.
Installing protective fixtures is part of the employer’s responsibility to maintain warehouse safety. For example, use floor marking tape to identify designated areas for heavy machinery, lifting equipment, and storage areas. Place guardrails around areas where ride-on pallet trucks and forklifts are commonly used to prevent them from crossing over into pedestrian lanes.
4. Upgrade your storage equipment
The quality of your storage equipment also determines the safety of operations, especially if your warehouse is handling high volumes of bulky goods. If your storage devices are old, failing, or unable to handle your load requirement, they need replacing.
Utilising robust and flexible storage systems such as pallet cages and stillage cages can help you organise your load and optimise your storage capacity. Stillage cages are tough, sturdy, and can handle large volumes of goods, making them appropriate for multiple uses. They are compatible with most pallet racking systems.
Containit Solutions provides a wide range of storage and shelving systems for numerous industries. Contact us today.