If your business relies on warehousing to function, then it makes sense to ensure that this is done as safely as possible. Creating an environment where your staff can work safely, productively and without fear of accident is key to running a successful operation and avoiding injury or worse. Here, we look at what Strip Curtains Direct believe makes a safe warehouse environment and how you could achieve this.
As well as looking good should you have visitors, tidy warehouse spaces will be safer. Keeping walkways and aisles clear of clutter and ensuring that they are wide enough for users and equipment to function safely is vital. Forklifts, pallet trucks and people should be able to safely manoeuvre around any shelving or racking that you have without running into packaging left around or boxes that have fallen off of shelving, for example.
All warehouse users should see tidiness as a priority. Storing items correctly and ensuring there are no trip hazards will not only improve safety but could also impact efficiency.
Points to consider
You must not exceed the load-bearing capacity of your racking and shelving. Your workforce must understand safe practices for loading, unloading and moving. Even within the shelving load capacity, a pile of boxes can cause accidents should they not be stacked correctly and fall.
Ensuring your team realise the importance of not taking shortcuts is critical to protect all warehouse occupants. Have written procedures in place and ensure tidiness is communicated clearly within your training programme.
We have already mentioned the importance of the safe operation of forklift and pallet trucks within the warehouse. The Health and Safety Executive list being struck by a moving vehicle features highly in the most common causes of workplace accidents, so to ensure safety in your workplace, use marked lanes, one-way systems and train all warehouse users in safe practices.
It may also be necessary to separate parts of the warehouse off from others to ensure those on foot can work safely. One way of doing this is via the use of strip curtains or other barriers.
Following moving vehicles, there are also a high proportion of accidents caused by people being struck by moving objects, again highlighting the importance of correctly stacking and storing products securely so that they do not fall and hit someone.
Points to consider
It’s prudent to highlight the risks that come with overloading to warehouse staff, whether this relates to moving items around by forklift or pallet truck or overloading of shelves.
When moving goods around the warehouse, it is vital to ensure that visibility is good, and routes are clear. Workers should also travel safely and have suitable warning signs to ensure that everybody can see the risks surrounding them.
It’s also essential to use the correct climbing or lifting equipment. Falling from height also highly features the list of most common causes of injury and death within a warehouse. It is something that using the correct equipment, staff training, and risk awareness can reduce.
Employees should already know standard safety procedures, but they could often be forgotten at the most critical times in haste or emergency. Signs act as a visual reminder for both new and longer serving team members. Ensure that safety points and exits are signed and visible at a distance.
Safety in the workplace is an employer’s legal responsibility. As an employer or business owner, you must implement and enforce these regulations and provide equipment and training to ensure your workplace is a safe and healthy place for employees and visitors.