A comprehensive safety protocol is important for maintaining a culture of checks and balances amongst management and employees to mitigate as much potential risk as possible and to keep warehouse employees and equipment safe. Here are some suggestions to promote safety in your warehouse operations.
- COMMUNICATION IS KEY:
- Communication between management and employees in the warehouse identifies safety concerns and produces a universal understanding of procedures for dealing with potential risk.
- Understand risk factors/develop a plan for addressing key problem areas and give employees the platform for addressing key problems on the job during day-to-day operations.
- Bottom-up communication is vital for successful risk management because although management understands potential issues, workers working in risky environments have a more sophisticated understanding of each risk associated with their particular job requirement.
- Open communication organizes safety initiatives to continuously improve safety protocol in the warehouse.
- CONSISTENT TRAINING AND DETAILED SAFETY REQUIREMENTS:
- Consistent training and process updates keep safety protocol at the forefront of daily operations and is vital to establishing a consistently safe work environment.
- Organization wide adoption will help construct an environment of safety experts on the floor and in the office to assess risky situations and ensure all protocol is adhered to whenever applicable.
- Establishes the importance of safety protocol and addresses inevitable issues that will arise from daily operations as accurately and timely as possible.
- VISIBLE SAFETY SIGNS AND PLACARDS:
- Should be placed in all heavy traffic areas and around complex and dangerous machinery that is used in most warehousing or manufacturing facilities.
- Safety resources reflect proper safety etiquette as well as emergency information should safety protocol be breached.
- Visible details regarding complicated machinery, maintenance steps and product details provide the safety guidelines for each employee to universally adopt.
- OSHA highlights the difference between signs according to the following guidelines:
- Danger Signs – All employees shall be instructed that danger signs indicate immediate danger and that special precautions are necessary.
- Caution Signs – All employees shall be instructed that caution signs indicate a possible hazard against which proper precautions should be taken.
- Safety Instruction Signs – Safety instruction signs should be used where there is a need for general instructions and suggestions relative to safety measures.
*Page 50, Training Requirements in OSHA Standards
- APPOINT QUALIFIED SAFETY MANAGEMENT:
- Keeps all safety protocol at the forefront of operations.
- Organizes safety protocol in a coherent application for the entire organization to adopt and utilize when necessary.
- Provides employees with a direct contact and universal resource to support all safety initiatives and promote a safe warehouse environment.
By enacting a safety-first culture, both employees and management work together to build a cohesive safety environment focused on preventing risk and placing the safety of warehouse workers as a priority in the organization. Communication, proper management and available training and safety resources will help mitigate risk associated with complex distribution and warehousing operations.