Warehouse safety is one of the biggest concerns for warehouse managers and staff. The first step to preventing warehouse accidents and improving performance and safety is to understand common causes of accidents and to prevent them through education and taking the necessary steps to mitigate the risks.
In this article, we’ve addressed 5 common warehouse safety challenges and provided insight on how to improve safety, productivity, longevity and sustainability.
Forklifts, pallet trucks, order pickers, reach trucks, etc – these are the warehouse equipment that cause numerous accidents each year. Risks to employees include being run over in moments of inattention; falling from elevated platforms or becoming entangled with equipment as they work. All these accidents can lead to severe injuries or fatalities. Such accidents are often the result of crowded warehouses, inadequate forklift training, or chance.
Providing your employees with adequate training on how best to use these material handling equipment pieces within their environment and what the safety risks are, will ensure that your employees are able to execute their duties at their highest potential as well as remain productive and safe.
Warehouses often store chemicals for cleaning, production, or other purposes. Accidental spills or leaks can threaten the safety of employees, particularly in poorly ventilated warehouses. The same applies to warehouse equipment emissions. The emissions of your material handling equipment should be closely monitored ensuring employees are not vulnerable to high levels of emissions.
To ensure the safety of your employees, hazardous zones should be clearly defined and labelled. Your warehouse should be clearly organised and safe from hazardous situations. Easily identifiable hazards improve employee awareness and confidence, increasing productivity.
Inadequate space and inefficient use of available space are both threats to the optimal performance of your warehouse. Warehouse layout has a direct correlation to performance and thus consideration of both the floor space and vertical space should be taken into account when planning your layout. Another important consideration when planning your warehouse layout is your equipment size. Ensuring your warehouse equipment can navigate the aisles is crucial to the performance and profitability of your warehouse.
Equipment ergonomics are influential in ensuring that your employees are in great working form to perform their duties. If your employees are suffering from pain or injuries, they will be less productive and prone to accidents. Your warehousing equipment must have good ergonomics to reduce the risks of injury. Employees who are properly trained to lift materials and operate equipment efficiently and effectively will ensure that your warehouse performance and safety greatly improve.
Forklift training is an overlooked safety risk. With adequate training, all the above safety risks can be sufficiently mitigated improving performance and employee confidence. Unfortunately, employees tend to skip training to reduce costs and save time, however, this increases the risk of future accidents leading to lawsuits and complaints which cost both more time and money than the training itself in the long run.
A lack of training also means that employees cannot perform to the best of their abilities, and they present a safety risk as they are unaware of the hazards and safety precautions that should be taken as best practices.
Toyota Material Handling is a division of CFAO Equipment SA that offers accredited Forklift Training for novice and experienced drivers looking to recertify.
The training course teaches the best practices to reduce safety risks and increase productivity and profitability. Trained Forklift drivers are taught how to best navigate warehouse layouts while ensuring their safety and the safety of other employees, how to best operate material handling equipment to reduce emissions and optimise fuel consumption, and the best operational methods to ensure an ergonomic forklift driving experience.
To find out more about how our Forklift Training can help you improve your warehouse’s safety and productivity contact a consultant today.