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Working in a warehouse can offer you a successful and rewarding career. While working in a warehouse, regardless of the position you fill, there are good practices and methods to consider following to ensure safety in the workplace. If you’re interested in a job working within a warehouse, you may be curious to learn some tips that may help you stay safe in your role. In this article, we explore 11 different warehouse safety tips to consider.
11 warehouse safety tips
Here are 11 different tips to help ensure safety in the warehouse:
1. Keep your work area neat and organized
It’s important to ensure that your work area is orderly and clean at all times. If your work area is as clean as possible, there may be a lower chance of accidents happening within it. With a work area that has organization, it’s likely that you can find items quickly and easily. If possible, you may attempt to keep the entire warehouse as neat as possible so it can function in an efficient, safe manner. You can also encourage coworkers to do the same.
2. Become fluent in established safety protocols
Becoming fluent in all established safety measures, policies, protocols and methods can help you stay safe while on the job. Reading safety manuals and adhering to guidelines can help you understand what measures to take in order to stay safe and keep others safe while working. Communicating with coworkers about doing the same can help everyone in the warehouse stay as safe as possible.
3. Wear appropriate work attire
It’s extremely important to wear appropriate attire in the workplace to keep yourself as safe as possible. For instance, if you work around heavy machinery, wear steel-toed boots to protect your feet. If you work in a warehouse that stores items in high piles, you may want to wear a hard hat while in those areas to protect your head from falling objects. If you work around large machines, it may be in your best interest to wear clothing that fits snugly as to not snag it on machines or other objects.
Some warehouses have requirements for what you’re expected to wear in the workplace, but not all do. Because of this, you may require conducting your own research on what type of clothing, accessories and footwear can keep you most safe while working. Additionally, some warehouses provide you with the type of clothing, personal protective equipment and gear you may to need to stay safe while working.
4. Operate equipment or machinery you’re certified to operate
It’s extremely important that the professionals who seek education before operating machinery and equipment, so they know how to properly and safely do so. Typically, only those who hold certifications to operate certain equipment and machinery can operate them in the warehouse. For instance, only those who hold forklift operation certifications should operate forklifts within the warehouse, since they’re fluent in being able to operate them safely and properly. Keeping with this rule can help ensure the safety of the operators and the other warehouse workers.
5. Hold practice drills
Holding practice drills for different emergency situations can increase the level of safety present and felt in the workplace. There are a variety of different drills the warehouse may benefit from conducting. For instance, you may hold drills for any natural disaster, fire or water-related accident. You may also hold drills for machinery or equipment malfunctioning, items or objects containing hazardous materials opening or breaking or similar instances that require immediate action in order to stay safe.
You may organize mandated practices drills and activate practice drills throughout the day during the implementation stages so the warehouse staff can experience them firsthand. Doing so can help ensure that you equip all warehouse staff with the knowledge and training they need to stay safe and remain prepared for any safety hazards that may arise in the future.
6. Establish forklift paths
If your warehouse uses forklifts to move objects and equipment from place to place, you may consider establishing dedicated forklift paths. Creating these paths can help warehouse employees stay out of the way of moving forklifts and possibly prevent any forklift-related accidents in the workplace. Hosting a training session and having informative maps and graphics posted all around the warehouse can ensure that forklift drivers are aware of these paths and always know where they are in the warehouse. Placing stickers on the ground detailing the exact forklift paths can be helpful to all who work in the warehouse.
Related: 12 Warehouse Job Titles
7. Optimize warehouse layout
It’s important to optimize the layout of the warehouse for both safety and work efficiency purposes. Setting up the warehouse in a manner that has a logical flow can help ease movements for both people and machinery. Having an orderly, understandable warehouse layout can also help employees respond to emergency situations in a timely and efficient manner if need be.
8. Supply personal protective equipment
Supplying personal protective equipment, or PPE, to all warehouse employees is important in ensuring that you protect them in the workplace. For instance, you may offer them hard hats or protective gloves to protect their heads and hands for the specific type of work they perform. Depending on the type of warehouse, there may be additional PPE needs, such as safety goggles or steel-toed boots that employees should have and wear as well.
9. Inspect the equipment
Frequently inspecting all equipment, machinery and other objects or items that employees use in the workplace is essential. If you complete routine inspection, maintenance and repair, there’s likely a lower chance of these machines and equipment failing, breaking and possibly causing issues or injuries in the workplace. Even if there’s certain machinery or equipment that you rarely use, ensuring that they’re well-maintained and in perfect working condition can be helpful. This way, there’s also a higher level of safety available at all times when operating different types of equipment.
10. Foster communication
Fostering communication within the workplace at a warehouse can be beneficial in keeping all employees safe and healthy. Clearly communicating safety rules, regulations, methods, policies and standards can help ensure that everyone in the warehouse is up-to-date on all things safety-related. Doing so can help reduce the risk of injuries and health issues.
Soliciting information from warehouse employees can also help you gain insight into safety concerns that they may have that you haven’t yet addressed, which can be extremely helpful in creating safety plans. Doing so can also help boost employee morale as it allows employees a platform for them to express their ideas and thoughts to those in charge.
Related: Learn About Being a Warehouse Worker
11. Host safety training sessions
It’s especially important to host safety training sessions in the workplace at a warehouse so that all employees are fluent in the warehouse’s safety protocols. If necessary, hosting different training sessions focused on different aspects of the warehouse, such as machinery and equipment practices or fire and weather drills, may be helpful to ensure that you cover all safety-related protocols and information.
Mandating attendance at these safety training sessions can help you ensure that all warehouse employees are aware of these safety protocols, methods and practices and can respond appropriately in situations where their safety may be at risk. It can also help them feel more comfortable and safe in the workplace by giving them peace of mind that there’s a plan in place if challenges arise.
“11 Warehouse Safety Tips to Consider in the Workplace.” Indeed Career Guide, 2 Apr. 2022, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/warehouse-safety-tips.