Running a warehouse can be overwhelming. Aside from overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business, a warehouse supervisor must also ensure everyone’s safety and security in the warehouse facility. Warehouses, large or small, can be hazardous places. As warehouse manager, it is also your responsibility to promote and enforce safety practices in your facility.
A safe workplace makes for an efficient one. Not only that, Canadian laws require you, as an employer, to provide a safe environment to all your employees. Here are five important safety aspects of warehouse management that you need to follow to help you achieve an efficient, safe, and accident-free work environment:
- Observe cleanliness and orderliness. Maintaining a neat, clean, and organized warehouse at all times will ensure a safer warehouse. Keep your floors free from water, oil, cleaning products, and other spills that may cause slips and injuries. Clear all traffic areas of pallets, cartons, plastic wraps, and other debris that may cause accidents or delay in warehouse operations.
- Create a safety program. Provide a well-planned warehouse safety program that fits your warehouse’s needs. Make sure all your employees are educated and knowledgeable about this program before they begin work.
- Safety and equipment training is essential. Safety training courses should be mandatory, along with vehicle and equipment courses, for all workers who will be operating warehouse equipment such as forklifts, electric stackers, mechanical loaders, lifters, and shrink wrappers. Always check if warehouse employees have attended the training or received proper certifications before handling any equipment.
- Enforce safety regulations. Make sure all managers, warehouse handlers, and other employees wear the appropriate PPE such as hard hats, steel-toed boots, heavy gloves, and safety goggles before working on the floor.
- Mitigate accidents. The movement of forklifts and other heavy equipment around your warehouse can account for a large number of accidents. This includes collision with people, collision with other vehicles, collision with the warehouse structure, and overturning of FLTs. To deal with this, you need to:
- Plan periodic vehicle, machinery, equipment and loading dock examinations and maintenance to prevent accidents.
- Ensure all safety features including lights, vehicle reverse sensors, and warning beeps work properly.
- Report vehicle defects and equipment malfunctions. Make sure to oversee repairs and testing before using the item again.
- Equip your warehouse structure with safety equipment such as signs, bollards, and impact protectors to lessen the impact and damage of heavy-equipment collisions. Damage to your columns can potentially endanger your warehouse building. You can save on building repair by installing column protectors and foam impact protectors in key areas.
Following these safety precautions is a good start to ensuring better warehouse safety. You, as warehouse supervisor, are responsible for assuring warehouse processes are consistent with your safety plan and being followed religiously. By acting as the touchstone and safety anchor for your employees, your warehouse staff will be able to develop and carry out action plans from your safety program. In the end, it will help you achieve a safer, efficient, and successful warehouse operation.
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