Safety is an essential part of any warehouse operation. Accidents result in damaged equipment, damaged inventory or, worse, injuries to employees. All of these come with serious costs, and in most instances they can be avoided.
Pedestrian safety should be paramount in any warehouse safety program. A leading cause of injury is pedestrians being struck by machines or falling items. Slips, trips and falls also account for a large percentage of accidents.
Key in this area is separating pedestrians and machine traffic. Well-marked and well-maintained pedestrian travel paths can help eliminate accidents. Intersections must be clearly marked and machine operators trained to use their horns and to operate slowly in these areas.
Training, awareness and involvement in safety is critical for any program to be successful. Establish a safety committee that consists of members of upper management, line managers and hourly employees. This committee should review safety issues and set up training policies and schedules.
All safety concerns and potential safety issues should be responded to and addressed quickly. This will let employees see that management is concerned with safety and willing to take action, increasing awareness and employee involvement. This will result in fewer threats and a reduction in accidents.
Proper Safety Equipment
Safety programs require training, commitment and the proper equipment. The equipment needed depends on the location, but may include emergency eyewash stations, emergency showers, first aid stations, personal protective equipment and an automatic external defibrillator. Some of this equipment is costly, but it can save lives and in some areas and situations is required by law. The safety committee makes equipment recommendations based on an evaluation of need and legal requirements.