Three top tips for improving safety in warehouses
Safety should never be an afterthought, or even worse completely ignored, in a warehouse. These large facilities are filled with people every single day, not to mention all the equipment that is used, the complex tasks that go on within their walls and the vehicles that are driven around to complete deliveries.
To ensure that everyone is kept out of danger and accidents are prevented wherever possible, make sure to bear these three important safety points in mind:
- 1. Provide everyone with adequate safety equipment
There are so many tasks that go on inside a typical warehouse where safety equipment is essential.
Anyone who is working with loud machinery must protect their ears from permanent damage, while eyewear is appropriate for such tasks as sawing and drilling – there is always the chance a wood chip or a shard of metal will fly up towards the face without warning.
For those working around the exterior of a warehouse at night, wearing a high-visibility jacket will ensure they are seen by anyone operating vehicles or heavy machinery.
Provide any guests to a site with the same clothing – people who work at a facility may not realise that someone is viewing their work, so it’s best to make them aware in as many ways as possible.
- 2. Never ignore safety hazards
Playing the ignorance game where safety is concerned is a very risky move. Failing to rectify an issue that one person has spotted may end up putting someone else in serious peril.
Act fast by filling in any cracks and pits that have appeared on a warehouse’s flooring, before they develop into a bigger problem or someone injures themselves by tripping on the hazards.
Speaking of flooring, leaving items lying around on the ground is something else that should definitely be avoided. The staff member who has left something lying on the floor will be aware it’s there, but it’s unlikely that the rest of the warehouse staff will realise, and they could easily trip over an object and injure themselves.
If there is not enough space around a workshop to store these extra items, invest in some industrial shelving units instead. A&B Industrial Services stock a diverse selection of shelves, ranging from general units for stationery and heavy-duty equipment to specific designs perfect for stacking files and small mechanical parts neatly and tidily.
- 3. Point staff and guests in the right direction
One of the best ways to avoid an accident at work is to make sure everyone is aware of a potential hazard. Therefore, warehouse owners should never be afraid to put up labels and danger signs wherever it is appropriate or necessary – safety always comes before aesthetic appeal.
If dangerous materials are stored in a certain part of a warehouse, for instance, put a label on the door leading into this area that states a message along the lines of ‘Danger: Controlled Access Zone’.
Wet floor signs will alert people that the area they are about to walk across could be slippery, though if it is too much of a hazard it might be best to limit access with tape until the problem has been resolved.
Although no one wants to think about it, fire can quickly jeopardize an entire warehouse. Be prepared for a worst case scenario by plainly marking the directions to all fire exits – these must be clear to access, it is against the law to block them – and have labels directing people to fire extinguishers and blankets.
Gov.uk has a comprehensive fire safety risk assessment guide that people responsible for safety in warehouses should take the time to read.