Warehouse safety vital to a work environment. A warehouse is not merely shelves full of dusty boxes; it is a hive of activity, with motorized vehicles and lifting equipment. These can bring with them potential fire and other safety hazards. Schedule regular meetings with your warehouse staff so employees will understand all important safety topics, and make your workplace a better and safer place.
Schedule Safety Session Meetings
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Schedule regular meetings for all your employees, and make attendance mandatory. The best time for such meetings is at the start of a shift, or just after a scheduled lunch or work break. Provide Spanish-language and other interpreters for workers whose first language isn't English. Have a checklist showing all potential problems, review any past issues and encourage employees to voice their concerns.
Emphasize Safe Operation of Machinery
Forklifts, pallet jacks, conveyer belts and trucks are all common to warehouses. Make sure your workers leave the safety meeting with a full understanding of how to work on elevated docks; how to avoid getting clothing or hair caught in conveyer belts; how to work with forklifts; and how to warn others when operating forklifts. Pallets must be loaded and stacked properly to avoid potential tip-overs and collapses. Any horsing around with machinery must be strictly banned and promptly and severely punished.
Don't Neglect Fire Safety
Every warehouse is a potential fire trap. Even if the goods stored in the warehouse aren't flammable, the wrappings and boxes used to contain those items can fuel a fire. Appoint seasoned workers as fire marshals to spot dangers and coordinate regular fire drills. Ban smoking, except in designated areas or outdoors.
No Safety Equipment? No Job!
Workers should wear helmets and steel-toed work boots at all times to protect against that dangerous combination of gravity and boxes on upper shelves. In your safety meeting, relate to employees that listening to music or using a cell phone can distract workers and lead to accidents.
Housekeeping Isn't Just for the Home
Dirt, debris and slick substances can turn a warehouse floor into a man trap. Worn-out concrete flooring can crumble and pit, creating tripping hazards. Boxes blocking aisles and corridors, or garbage thoughtlessly discarded, present further challenges to workplace safety. Emphasize to your workers during the safety meeting that a clean workplace is a safe workplace. Set up contests between floor gangs for the best-kept work area. Have workers report all hazards promptly, and don't forget to provide plenty of trash receptacles, which should be emptied regularly.
T.C. Edere is a writer for online publications. Previously, he wrote headlines for newspapers such as "The Plain Dealer" of Cleveland, Ohio, "The Record" of Hackensack, N.J., "New York Post" and "New York Daily News."