Did you know that 609,000 people suffered an injury at work last year?
While accidents happen, it’s always the responsibility of an employer to reduce the risk of this by making sure their working environments are as safe as possible for their employees, customers and visitors.
Warehouses and materials handling sites are some of the most hazardous environments, largely due to the presence of forklifts and heavy moving loads. Although every workplace has safety protocols in place, it’s still useful to keep the on-going risks front of mind.
Warehouse safety is something that should be reassessed and improved upon on a regular basis. With that in mind, we’ve gathered 7 warehouse safety hacks that could benefit your business.
1. Clearly mark and maintain forklift speed limits
It goes without saying that forklifts should be operated with strict speed limits. No vehicle should go faster than 8mph, and in areas where pedestrians are also operating, this should be reduced to 3mph at all times.
In addition to informing and monitoring operators in relation to their speed, warehouses should be clearly marked with limit reminders in as many places as possible. These visual signals will help operators stay aware of their speed and keep on the lookout for any potential hazards.
2. Create traffic lanes
Marking out traffic lanes is a simple way of preventing forklifts and pedestrians having to cross paths too regularly. It also helps everyone keep moving within their designated areas too.
Investing in metal guard rails is a great option for busy warehouses with lots of forklift activity. Or, for a more cost-effective alternative, simply use coloured tape to mark lanes on the ground.
3. Position mirrors on corners
When turning around bends or corners, forklift operators can often find their visibility is restricted which, in unfortunate or careless circumstances, can result in an accident. However, this type of incident can be avoided by increasing visibility of these tight corners.
Adding curved mirrors to blind or restricted corners allows drivers to see around bends, much like the mirrors you see on winding country roads. It’s a simple change, but one that could make life easier (and much safer) for your team.
4. Keep the floor nice and level
Wear and tear is natural in any warehouse, particularly where there’s heavy footfall. Over time, floors can become uneven, as nooks and crannies develop due to heavy usage, scrapes and bangs.
It’s important to keep on top of these areas, particularly where forklifts operate, as uneven surfaces can cause people and/or vehicles to catch, trip and fall. Scheduling a quarterly assessment is a good way to remind yourself to keep on top of any flooring repairs.
5. Make sure every employee understands the waste system
Discarded debris is one of the biggest causes of accidents in the workplace. But luckily, it’s also easily avoidable with the right planning.
Create a system for clearing and disposing of waste as soon as it is created and make sure everyone knows about it. Make it easy to follow and keep it clearly marked with instructions so it can always be adhered to. By ensuring every employee understands what’s expected of them, you can run a tight ship and avoid any unnecessary accidents.
6. Install additional lighting
There are dingy areas in every warehouse and certain spaces that lose their light supply as they become piled up with stock.
Always plan extra lighting, particularly in places like aisles and corridors. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so the brighter lighting, the better!
7. Keep your signage up to date
In a busy warehouse, operations are constantly evolving in order to become more efficient. When processes change or workstations are rearranged, always make sure the relevant signage is updated too.
Inaccurate sign-posting is not only confusing but can lead to a serious accident, should somebody miss out on an important message as a result of an out-of-date notice. It’s a good idea to take a tour every couple of weeks just to make sure that all of your signage is accurate and intact.
We hope you’ve found this overview useful. If you’d like to ask us any questions about your materials handling challenges, call us on 0113 393 2881 or email email@example.com.
We also offer a comprehensive range of forklifts that are available to buy and delivered to your site at your convenience.