Opponents of expansive workplace and warehouse safety incentive programs complain the programs are too difficult to implement. The aversion to the plans are due to the difficulty maintaining the procedures and program. The opposition also stems from resources needing to be pulled from other areas of the workplace to oversee safety plans. Companies that comply with dangerous goods storage and materials handling equipment regulations will not face financial consequences. Companies who fail to properly implement these strategies may be fined or meted a more serious punishment. Proponents of warehouse safety regulations suggest implementing a program of checklists and regular compliance checks to ensure all mandated safety regulations are being met.
Employee Safety: One of the easiest methods of enacting employee safety regulations is through regular training on Movexx and other equipment. Visual aids will highlight potential hazards to both employees and customers. An array of options are available to ensure safety and compliance with warehouse regulations.
- Allocate specific walk areas for employees and customers.
- Immediately clean any spills. Utilize proper signage to designate wet or slippery areas. The most common workplace injury is from slipping and falling.
- Prohibit employees from climbing on shelves to gather needed items. Make certain employees use a forklift or other proper machinery to collect items placed out of reach.
- Utilize visual aids to direct an employees path through the warehouse and away from dangerous machinery.
- Provide sufficient safety items; such as goggles, gloves, stations for washing eyes and hands and breathing equipment.
- Clearly mark all exits. Enforce a rule stating everyone must enter and exit using only the proper doorways.
Fire Safety Checklist: Fire safety is a vital means of ensuring everyone will be evacuated from the building, if a fire occurs. Coordination and accountability are the keys to keeping the building and employees safe.
- Properly and prominently mark all exit doors, windows and other means of escape in the event of a fire.
- Create and perform evacuation drills. Give every employee an accountability partner and a pre-determined area to meet outside. This allows for quick accountability of everyone in the building.
- Create a safety committee. Ensure the committee meets on a regular basis and are trained in basic CPR.
- Ensure adequate fire extinguishers are available and charged.
- Confirm the sprinkler system is fully operational.
- Fire alarms should be tested on a monthly basis.
- Maintain a proper distance between flammable items and potential combustion sources.
Safely Handle Materials: Safely handling hazardous materials requires forethought and commitment from both the warehouse owners and the employees to maintain safety.
- Implement the Hazardous Material Identification System (HMIS).
- Supply sufficient Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all chemicals and hazardous materials.
- Create an education program for all personnel to learn proper handling and disposal of chemicals.
- Provide an array of proper disposal areas throughout the building.
- Supply the necessary equipment to handle dangerous goods storage.
- Provide ample containers to dispose of sharp objects.
Proper Safety With Mechanical and Electrical Components: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires a number of essential safety practices for every workplace.
- Make use of OSHA's lockout-tagout process. This procedure is required to be performed on any equipment not running properly and potentially hazardous.
- Exhibit hazard symbols wherever necessary in the warehouse. Place the hazard symbols on all machines and electrical items.
- Ensure employees are wearing the mandated proper safety gear while operating any machinery.
Forklift Safety: The use of a forklift is dangerous for any user, who is not properly trained in safety procedures.
- Require all forklift users to attend a safety training class prior to their use of the machine.
- Require every forklift operator to wear their seat belt while using the forklift.
- Enforce the rule of not allowing a forklift user to leave the machine until fully stopped.
- Assign designated pathways for forklift users only.
- Instruct forklift users to only drive with the lift lowered.
- Instruct forklift operator's of the necessity of using the horn, driving slow and watching out for pedestrians.
- Mandate the use of a forklift is only acceptable for its intended purpose.
Proper safety must be a top concern for any warehouse business owner. Safe employees are essential to a lucrative business. The preceding checklist for a safe warehouse will aid any warehouse business owner in creating OSHA approved safety standards.