If you have not read our blog on Why My Mom Would Have Been a Great Warehouse Manager please do. Safety was one the major points. Let’s discuss this at a high level.
Keep Your Warehouse Clean
My largest pet peeve is a dirty and cluttered warehouse. Yes, I understand that based on the products and how fast moving your inventory is this is not always simple. However, this should be your most critical initiative and a standard for operations. Not only does a clean warehouse provide better over-all visibility but it also helps to prevent slips, falls and drops. Keep your floor clean. Clean your aisles, racks, bins, docks and all areas of your warehouse. Look for more organic products to reduce your team’s exposure to chemicals. Build cleaning into your daily schedule.
Maintain Your Equipment and Machinery
You need to properly maintain your materials handling, packaging machines and all equipment in your warehouse. Preventative maintenance is paramount in the prevention of accidents. You hear all the time how injuries and even fatalities could have been prevented. There is no excuse for not properly maintaining your machinery. Most equipment companies that sell machinery provide maintenance training and instruction.
Forklift Safety – Please Let’s Discuss This
Let’s do an analogy, most of us drive cars. Sometimes you get to the point that your car becomes an extension of you. You’re driving mimics your mood – lazy, distracted, rushed etc. Then boom a near accident reminds you to PAY ATTENTION! You completely forgot you are in a piece of machinery weighing at minimum 3500 lbs. and you could hurt or even kill someone. This is the very same concept with forklifts. The number of annual forklift accidents is insane. Make sure your drivers are trained properly before they even operate your forklift. Even if you hire an experienced forklift driver take note that there are various makes and models that are designed differently. So proper training on a specific forklift is a must.
Violence Prevention – An Uncomfortable Topic
Workplaces know that increasing their workplace violence prevention posture is important to their workforce safety, security and morale. You’ve seen the news and think it can’t happen to your company. Think again, it can and there are some important factors leading to it’s prevention. There are experts and consultants that can help you implement programs that can ultimately lead to a safer work place. One of our favorite leaders who approaches this subject, program implementation and communication very well is Felix Nater from Nater and Associates. Please see references below for more information.
Education is Key
That leads to my last point. Your managers and employees need to be properly trained. This seems so basic but this is imperative to your operations especially the safety of your personnel. No matter how simple or complex your facility may be, it is critical to have an on-boarding program for new team members and ongoing training for all levels of personnel. This ensures your safety standards are the highest they can possibly be and also prevents serious injuries or worse.
Here Are Some References for Your Review
OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration
With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)* to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. OHSA can help with free initial consultations for smaller business or provide information on training through their cooperative partners.
Nater Associates, Ltd. – This is a security management consulting practice that helps processing, distribution, production, manufacturing & utility firms implement and manage workplace security strategy with a specialty in workplace violence prevention and violence response. Their website contains many helpful videos so if you need an expert to help analyze or implement a workplace violence prevention policy, they have the experience and knowledge to help.
Liftec Forklifts – If you are in the New Jersey or New York Area you can purchase or even rent forklifts or other material handling equipment from Liftec. They also provide a Train the Trainer Program that can help you meet OSHA Standards.
HCO INNOVATIONS, LLC – This is a materials handling assessment company that provides comprehensive evaluations and solutions for your company’s forklift operations based in Raleigh, North Carolina!
Warehouse Flow Advisors – offers many types of services for your business to help make sure your employees and customers are safe. Phil Mendelowitz (the owner) has over 30 years of hands on manufacturing and warehousing experience and can bring his working knowledge to you. Plus he’s cheaper than a lawyer!