Safety is a vital ingredient in any work setting. In addition to your employees’ well-being, unsafe working conditions are a liability and inhibit productive workflow.
It is especially true in warehousing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 680,000 Americans work in the warehouse or product transport workforce. Unfortunately, warehousing has experienced an increase in safety incidents –due to several reasons.
Talent Shortage: As Baby Boomers retire, fewer young adults are taking their places, creating an absence of knowledgeable, experienced workers in the warehouse workplace.
E-Commerce Boom: The boom of online shopping led to the need for 452,000 additional warehouse workers in 2019 alone. The pandemic’s enforced stay-at-home increased sales even more. Increased demands lead to increased production, and the rapidness of change causes mistakes to happen.
Physically Demanding: Even the safest of warehouses doesn’t change the fact that the work is strenuous. Workers are on their feet from start to finish, bending, walking, and lifting –and prone to injury.
Environmental Factors: Fire and electrical hazards, slips and falls from cluttered walkways and spills, harmful chemicals, and falling objects are some of the environmental issues workers face. Most of these types of accidents and injuries could have been prevented by following basic safety guidelines.
Strategies to Monitor Safety
One of the most significant contributors to safety incidents is a lack of proper training. Create a training program and requiring every employee to participate is essential.
Make your training programs –
- Are relevant to the work the employees are doing day-to-day.
- Provide reading materials such as brochures, posters, and manuals.
- Include regular refresher classes.
Failure to provide appropriate PPE, and enforce wearing it is a common culprit of safety incidents. Ensure your warehouse workers are utilizing –
- Hard hats
- Safety glasses
- Steel-toed boots
- Ear protection
- High Visibility jackets
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
Create mandatory safety-conscious procedures that specify the correct way to perform any task within the warehouse. Implement SOP by creating safety check-lists that must be checked off each time a task is done.
Make sure all hazards and safety procedures are pointed out with easy-to-read, attention-grabbing signage. Depending on your workplace, the required signage varies, but may include signs for admittance, directions, fire safety, and general safety notices. Display safety signage via posters, banners, and floor graphics.
Creating a safety-orientated culture doesn’t happen overnight, but you can keep moving forward by –
- Staying connected with your HR team to create safety policies and a positive safety culture.
- Communicating with your staff.
- Being on the lookout for precarious situations and irresponsible behavior.
- Rewarding good safety habits!
At Hamilton Connections, we are advocate safe working environments. Because you matter, because your employees matter, take time to be safe – starting today.