How to Create a Safe Working Environment for Warehouse Employees: Part 2

How to Create a Safe Working Environment for Warehouse Employees: Part 2

30th November 2020

Warehouse safety is a key part of all warehouse operations. It helps ensure your employees conduct their scheduled work without avoidable and unnecessary hazards. Proper training should be provided to the workforce to ensure safe handling of dangerous items and heavy machinery such as trucks, forklifts, machines with moving parts, and conveyor belts. Below is a continuation of the factors that you need to consider when creating a safe working environment for your warehouse employees. Please read on.

Daily Protocol

Warehouse safety should not be a mere safety requirement, but a concern that your workforce takes seriously. Having a daily protocol in your organisation can be essential to help establish a safe workplace out of habit. Such protocols may include workers reporting in, cleaning and preparation of the workplace, checking and collecting the necessary safety equipment, and closing down when the shift or day ends. Making the protocols a habit can encourage employees to adhere to daily check-ins and check-outs, and also help promote awareness and accountability.

The chances of warehouse dangers can greatly reduce if the employees regularly clean their worksites and always observe extra safety precautions. You may consider looking for ways to incentivise your workforce and make safety part of their daily life. You may consider programs like awarding bonuses for exemplary safety practices, an employee of the month, and promotions for workers who show superior safety techniques.

Lockout/Tagout Procedure

A typical warehouse contains a number of heavy machinery with several moving parts and hazardous materials and energy. It’s, therefore, vital to establish an efficient lockout/tagout procedure for your workforce to follow. This will enable the technicians and employees involved with equipment operation and maintenance to observe the exact protocol hence promoting high safety levels in your warehouse.

The personnel responsible for the lockout/tagout procedure should be properly trained on how to operate the equipment, correct shutdown, isolation of the power sources, and locking and tagging the equipment in a safe off position. You may need to install plant platforms to provide safe access to the machinery and equipment being maintained.

The incorporation of detailed lockout/tagout procedures enhances safe maintenance of heavy equipment and machines and prevents injuries from built-up energy or loose parts. All relevant personnel should be notified of the equipment scheduled for downtime or maintenance to avoid any surprises during the maintenance process. Ensure to also provide your workers with lockout/tagout kits and post detailed operational instructions for the equipment affected. These instructions should include details on the procedures for the machine’s power sources, moving parts, and start-up and power-down processes.

The Bottom Line

Employee negligence or the improper handling of materials or equipment in the warehouse can easily result in damage, illness, injury, or death. Employers and safety officers, therefore, need to be at the forefront to ensure the safety of the workers and the warehouse. They should start by educating the employees and providing enough tools and equipment to be used in different operations. A safe work environment translates to reduced chances of accidents and injuries, improved employee motivation and increased productivity. Won’t this be a win-win for you?