The new year is a perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months and determine how to improve. Every professional can find areas of improvement, whether getting a promotion or establishing better working relationships.
Owners and managers can do plenty of things to improve safety in the warehousing industry. Prioritizing safety is crucial in dangerous sectors, and this one is no exception.
Most Common Dangers in Warehouses
According to The United States department of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), warehouse workers are subject to several hazards every day, such as:
- Powered industrial trucks (forklifts)
- Materials handling
- Slips, trips and falls
- Refrigerated warehousing
- Automation and robotics
- Ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders
- Hazardous chemicals
- Emergency planning
- Electrical hazards
- Heat illness
- Stress and fatigue
Warehouse owners and managers must take the time to educate employees on how to remain safe and avoid falling victim to these hazards, as exposure could lead to injury or even death.
Improve Safety With These 4 Steps
There are numerous things you can do to increase safety in your warehouse. Protecting workers from injury or fatality must be your top priority. Consider the following tips to improve safety in your facilities in the new year.
1. Review Past Injuries
If your goal is to increase worker safety, a good starting point is to review past injuries or fatalities in your warehouse. OSHA requires employers to create a safe workplace for all employees, regardless of the nature of the work being performed.
If someone suffered an injury in the past year, investigate the potential causes. Ask questions regarding the incident and determine what went wrong — from there, you can identify which areas of safety you need to improve in the coming year.
2. Update Safety Procedures and Policies
The next step is to review your safety policies and procedures. Check to see if there are plans to cover all potential hazards, as they can disrupt warehouse operations and put workers in danger.
Your procedures should be clear and concise and consistent with OSHA requirements. If any employees have questions regarding policies, be sure to answer them so injuries are less likely to happen.
3. Inspect Personal Safety Equipment and Gear
Every employee and manager should inspect personal safety gear. Warehouse workers should always wear safety vests, as well as other protective equipment like face shields, eyewear, ear protection, gloves and knee pads, depending on the task they’re performing.
All equipment and gear should be in good condition to offer the best protection for workers. Mild or severe injuries could happen without it. These are standard codes of practice that has been implemented by several governmental bodies. Regulation of this nature has been in place for decades however, in practice are sometimes not adhered to.
4. Train Employees on Best Safety Practices
Training employees on safety practices will help provide a safe working environment. People must work together to ensure each individual stays out of harm’s way.
Training sessions should be held regularly, as new safety protocols could emerge during the new year. Consider using virtual or digital training tools to help employees retain safety information when they need it on the floor.
Protecting Warehouse Workers in 2023
No employer wants to see their workers get hurt, but it can and does happen occasionally. This year, resolve to create a safer workplace for your employees, as it will pay off in the long run by increasing productivity and efficiency. Consider these tips to help you create safety procedures in the new year.
Rose Morrison is the managing editor of Renovated.com, and has over 5 years of writing experience in the industry. Her work has been featured on The National Association of Realtors, the American Society of Home Inspectors, and other reputable publications. For more from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter.