Accidents are inevitable, but many accidents are avoidable. With proper health and safety measures in place, it’s possible to prevent common warehouse mishaps. If you are a business owner with an inventory warehouse, there are a multitude of safety risks you need to be aware of in this specialised workplace.
Risks For Any Size
Just because you have a small warehouse with only a few types of inventory stock, it does not mean fewer safety risks are present. Rather, it poses a different array of issues to assess. Either way, employers and employees need proper training to be proactive about warehouse mishaps.
A proactive approach will make the warehouse a more conducive environment to do business in and a safer place to manage inventory stock. Fork lift drivers may try to move too much inventory stock at once or warehouse shelving could be misaligned, making it hard for workers to navigate the area. A warehouse can be a hive of activity so the flow of traffic in and out can also encourage mishaps. By enhancing safety measures around the warehouse facility, your business will appreciate a more streamlined environment that minimises injuries, mistakes and damage to equipment and inventory stock.
Accidents and mishaps occur more frequently when employees get complacent with their role. This can happen in warehouse work as the tasks are generally repetitive. If these employees are doing the same task, hour after hour, it is easy to become lackadaisical and forget or ignore safety requirements. Damaged inventory stock is also a common warehouse mishap. This commonly occurs when forklifts transfer stock improperly. The forklift can impact the stock directly, breaking packaging or the good itself. Moreover, the forklift could place the stock on the shelf poorly. When this happens, the stock can shift with the movement of other goods. If it is agitated too much after improper storage, it can fall off the shelves, onto the ground or employees. To mitigate these mishaps, proper training on pallet racking systems is necessary. In addition, frequent in-services for equipment use should also be provided. This serves as a refresher and a time to raise any issues that employees experience with day-to-day machinery use.
Weather Plays a Part
Accidents can occur when spills happen or machinery is driving from outside to inside during a rainy day. If areas become slippery this can lead to pedestrian falls. Warning signs should be accessible to any employee to put out in case of poor floor conditions. Caution signs should be placed in visible areas. A warehouse should also invest in anti-slip tape on the steps, ledges and other precarious areas. In addition, safety mats can be used where necessary. Training employees to recognise these conditions is important, especially in the need to be proactive about them, rather than having them make-do with a potentially hazardous situation.
Space in the Warehouse
Warehouses are high traffic areas. Accidents happen when there is minimal direction for vehicles to follow. This can result in the damage to vehicles and employees. If forklifts aren’t properly maintained they can breakdown and cause delays and accidents in the warehouse as well. Traffic flow needs to be established and routine maintenance needs to be done on all equipment. Teach employees to recognise signs of degrading parts on vehicles and be proactive about fixing and preventing issues.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.