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6 Key Principles for Warehouse and Workplace Safety

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By: Seika

Safety in the workplace is something that is often overlooked. Safety guidelines are there to keep the people who work in a warehouse safe. When it comes to safety in warehouses, there is often resistance from both employers and employees. Safety procedures often get skipped over, because people feel that they are a waste of time and resources. When safety procedures are implemented, however, they can offer numerous benefits. Reducing the likelihood of injury helps to prevent disruptions and reduce absenteeism, and therefore also improve morale.

These guidelines will help people to stay safe in the workplace:

1. Use Correct Safety Equipment at All Times

Forklifts, hydraulic dollies and other tools are used to lift heavy items and bulky items. It is important that people do not try to lift large or awkward items manually. It is important that appropriate eyewear is used at all times, and that hard hats are worn. Employees should be made aware of emergency exits, and sprinklers should be installed on the roof, and left clear from obstruction. Safety equipment should be provided, well maintained and used at all times. Even if employees feel that safety equipment is awkward, it should not be ignored, because it can save lives.

2. Eliminate As Many Hazards As Possible

Warehouse floors should be kept free from ‘slip and trip’ potential hazards. Regular safety checks should be carried out and employees should have the importance of keeping the floor and working area clean and free of liquids, obstructions and tripping hazards at all times. Cracks, pits or damage to flooring should be repaired immediately. Such hazards can injure employees and cause damage to expensive machines.

3. Teach, and Practice, Safe Lifting Techniques at All Times

Employees should be taught to use safe lifting techniques at all times. This means appropriate manual handling for small items as well as large items should be handled with care using the correct tools and machines, from reputed companies such as Pallet Trucks Direct. Follow the correct operating procedures, and ensure that there is adequate space to move items, with the view of the lifter unobstructed. Handling equipment should push, rather than pull, and be leaning in the direction that the item is travelling. Forklifts and other machines should only be used by trained operators when authorised.

4. Label or Demark Hazardous Zones

Dangerous equipment must be kept away from walkways, and designated walkways should be clearly highlighted. Use tape or stripes to mark out designated hazard zones, so that employees know when to be aware of potentially dangerous machines or other hazards, and can avoid areas where there may be risk factors. Correct, clear and consistent signage should be used throughout the property and new employees should be informed of the signage system as a part of their first day of induction training.

5. Give All Staff Adequate Training

Staff must be provided with adequate training, and then refresher courses, to ensure that they know the best practices for their working environment. This will help to ensure that they know what to do to avoid accidents, and what potential incidents could occur. Accidents are more common if corners are cut, or if people take risks to save time. Staff and management should be made aware of the repercussions that could arise from employees failing to follow basic procedures.

6. Build a Culture of Awareness

Through encouraging communication between staff members, it is possible to create an environment where staff are aware of risks and communicate with each other to avoid accidents. This can be as simple as encouraging people to shout “coming through” or to alert people when passing or when manipulating a large or awkward object. These simple things do not take a lot of time to implement, but can create a better environment for everyone, and will go a long way towards helping to reduce the risk of avoidable collisions or other potentially serious accidents.