Warehouses are among the most dangerous workplaces, with an injury rate of 5.1 per 100 full-time workers and 22 deaths per year. As the demand for e-commerce continues to grow, warehouses are busier than ever – and combined with the hazardous work environment that includes heavy machinery, warehouse employers must balance the need for efficiency with accident prevention. In honor of National Safety Month, check out the ultimate guide to warehouse safety:
Keep Warehouse Walkways Unobscured
The sheer amount of shipments in a warehouse can be a major hazard if walkways are blocked. Ensure boxes and debris are kept in a designated area away from aisles and exits. It may seem like it saves time to just stack shipments and deal with them quickly, but it puts employers at risk of tripping and falling.
Ensure Proper Staffing Levels
The workload in warehouses can get hectic, but if it’s unsustainable without employees working constant overtime, it can be dangerous. Mistakes get made when employees are overworked, so ensure you maintain proper staffing levels. If there’s a short term influx, alleviate the burden to your team by hiring temporary employees.
Train Workers on Safety Protocol
The onboarding that employees received as new hires shouldn’t be the only safety training they get. Provide ongoing training to keep warehouse employees reminded of safety protocol for issues such as driving forklifts, avoiding aisle and exit hazards, and ergonomics so they don’t strain or injure their muscles while maneuvering.
Take a Zero Tolerance Stance on Unsafe Behaviors
Employees in hazardous workplaces like warehouses often feel like they are sent mixed signals from their employers. Many companies claim to prioritize safety above all else, but may undermine that message by not acknowledging when employees exhibit unsafe behaviors (particularly when it saves time). Show you’re serious about safety by taking a zero-tolerance stance on unsafe workplace behavior – immediately correct employees and take disciplinary action against repeat offenders.
Keep and Act on Accident Reports
You can’t improve warehouse safety if you don’t measure it. Whenever there are accidents in your warehouse, keep records. However, also make it a priority to act on these reports. Take time to review them on a periodic basis to look for commonalities that indicate protocol may need adjusting.
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