Originally posted on February 11, 2020 @ 5:05 pm
Warehouses aren’t known for being the safest workplaces. There is a lot of potential for injury here and employers are aware of this. Worker injury is something that should be avoided at all costs, which is why safety precautions need to be implemented. Here are some examples of the best things you can do to keep your workers safe.
1. Floor Tape
Your personnel shouldn’t be coming into close contact with the machinery on the work floor. Forklifts and cranes are pretty dangerous and they need a bit of space to do their thing. However, how do you separate them when everyone uses the same work floor to do their jobs? One of the simpler solutions involves a bit of tape and some spatial awareness.
You can use the tape to implement safe routes in the warehouse. If the walking personnel stick to the paths that you lay out for them, they aren’t going to bump into machines like forklifts and injure themselves.
In order to figure out the most optimal traffic lanes that you can create, you have to know how your machine drivers get around the building. If your makeshift traffic lanes don’t accommodate them properly, they will very likely have to cross into the pedestrian area to get somewhere. Use a floor plan of your building to help you think of ways to create optimal traffic lanes. The best part is, you can change them whenever you add or remove sections, considering the fact that tape is pretty cheap.
2. Proper Lighting
Visibility is one of the key aspects of safety in any workplace. This is especially true when it comes to the vast spaces people have to work within a warehouse. During the day, lighting won’t be much of a problem. As long as you have a sufficient number of windows, you can expect your personnel and drivers to be able to see each other and not bump into things. Natural light is something we are all well-accustomed to and it’s a huge help when it comes to wakefulness and visibility.
However, some warehouses will work well into the night. When the sun goes down, you can expect dangerous collisions to go up. Forklift drivers need to have a well-lit and unobstructed view of their target destination. Despite the fact that warehouses work with large and noisy machines, you can’t expect personnel to be able to avoid collisions without good lighting. It’s a humongous workspace that often has blind spots in terms of illumination.
To take care of this, you need to look at the logistics of lighting in your own warehouse. Any difficult corners that machines need to traverse have to be extremely well-lit. This is paramount if you want to avoid worker injury on these junctions. The lighting you choose should be long-lasting and efficient. Regular bulbs need to be replaced relatively often, which makes them inefficient for warehouse use. You can’t expect maintenance to constantly have to bring ladders in and change them when the work floor is already very hectic.
LED lights are considered a good alternative. They can last you quite a while and they spend a lot less energy per bulb. You can count on these lights to illuminate your warehouse during night shifts.
Warehouses are usually facilities with several levels. What this means is that you will see some employees working on great heights. This can be pretty hazardous to their health. One wrong step on a platform and they could tumble down several meters and get injured or worse.
To prevent this, you need to install safety measures that will prevent falls on high platforms. If a worker needs to spend some time at a great height, they should be able to attach themselves via a safety harness. Using a lanyard might not be necessary, as there won’t be a lot of workers staying at a height for long periods of time.
Simple handrails could do the job just fine. If a worker needs to make his or her way through a higher portion of the warehouse, they should be able to grab onto something to prevent a fall. Any height over a couple of feet should necessitate a couple of handrails. They don’t cost much and they’re easy to install, but they can be a world of help when it comes to safety.
4. Reliable Equipment
Workers can only do so much with the tools they are given. Proper safety protocol relies on good equipment that won’t fail at an inopportune time. If workers handle shipments with the right kind of equipment, you can count on them to remain safe.
No machine is one hundred per cent safe. Even when properly handled, you can still expect cranes and forklifts to fail every once in a while. It’s crucial that you are able to anticipate when a machine is near breaking point. Outright replacing most models would cost you a significant amount of money, which is why it might be better to look into other ways to get your machines.
The experts at MLA Holdings recommend getting used forklifts when you’re on a tight budget. As long as the machinery is still functional and reliable, how long it’s been in use doesn’t matter all that much.
Your machines need to be well-maintained in order for workers to stay safe. Check the manual for your forklifts and cranes to figure out how often they should be serviced. If a problem can be intercepted before it causes a dangerous situation, you can bet that it’s worth checking it out.
5. Training Seminars
Safety is your main priority when making changes in the warehouse. There’s a bunch of equipment that needs to be placed well in order to reduce the chances of injury. However, even a warehouse that is designed in the most optimal way will still have injuries if the workers aren’t particularly careful around machines.
Safety training isn’t something employees are very enthusiastic about. You probably have bi-annual safety training seminars that cover all the different ways warehouse workers have to look out for dangerous situations. However, this might not be enough to cover everything. If you want your workers to properly avoid injury and increase efficiency, you might need to make safety training seminars a regular occurrence.
Warehouse work has pretty high employee turnover. Because of this, not everyone that is working on the floor has the same type of effective training. You have to include new employees in the training seminar and emphasize the importance of certain things.
Individual training is highly recommended for those who handle heavy machinery. If the training is focused on their particular operational role, they will be able to handle dangerous situations a lot better and with more confidence in their decisions.
Keeping the workplace safe is a priority of every employer. This can be a pretty difficult challenge in a warehouse environment, but it’s perfectly doable as long as you do it with the right mindset and resources. With some small changes, you can make a world of difference. As long as you also stick to safety protocol regarding equipment and workers with air conditioning Sydney, you should be able to avoid most injuries in the workplace.