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7 Ways To Ensure Workers Stay Safe In Warehouses

7 Ways To Ensure Workers Stay Safe In Warehouses

According to OSHA, there are over 12 fatal injuries a day that occur in warehouses.[1] While that number might not seem significantly large, the significance lies in more than the number to families who lose their loved ones. Fathers will never see their children again, husbands will never again be with their heart-broken wives – loss is loss and is felt deeply and needlessly in a lot of these instances.

The warehouse is no place to goof around and I’m suspect that you (hopefully) already know that. In fact, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) discovered that ~621,000 workers had non-fatal work injuries in the year 2015/2016.[2]

Remember the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure”? That’s as true today as it ever was. Sadly, we seem to live in a world where people would rather focus on an accident after the fact instead of preventing it in the first place (I personally don’t understand the logic behind waiting until it’s too late).

Let’s take a look at seven of the safest ways to put an ounce of prevention in ensuring the safety of warehouse workers:

1. Keep Things Clean

Hands down, the best way to keep workers safe is to keep the warehouse clean. This is a no-brainer, right? Yet, it’s a huge problem in most warehouses.[3] A great way to prevent mishaps like this is to make cleaning mandatory.

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If your warehouse has a metal machine that leaves metal shavings behind after use, make it a rule that machine operators must clean up their own mess. Also, several garbage cans placed throughout work areas with heavy foot traffic are more economical than having a team of broom-pushers.

It’s relatively easier (and saves more time) to clean up spills, accidents, and messes as they happen. Otherwise, once everything is “saved” and piled up to be tackled all at once, the task may seem like a chore and be counter-productive for morale.

An easy way to implement this cleaning agenda is to create documentation and schedule calendar-specific tasks. These can be completed on a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly basis.

Shipping doors, loading bays, and work cells are vital areas to be kept clean and free of “floating” garbage.

2. Label Everything

Be sure to clearly mark areas that are being cleaned. It’s easy to use anti-slip marking tape wherever you can. It also helps to keep aisles decluttered as often as possible.

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Anti-slip marking tape can be picked up at most retail outlets (which, in all probability, used to be a warehouse). Simply grab a dozen rolls or so and write them in easy to see areas with warning messages on them.

3. Use Provided Safety Equipment

For some reason, a lot of people (workers and non-workers) don’t enjoy using safety equipment. Remember feeling “uncool” for wearing a helmet when you were learning how to ride a bike?

This mindset hasn’t changed in a lot of people.

Still, wearing hardhats in the work area saves lives. Period. Make no bones about it, using the safety equipment that’s provided does its job. They keep us safe so we can stay out of the hospital (or worse, an early grave).

Workers who don’t wear the mandatory eye-wear for jobs meet their maker. There are dozens of other reports about injuries in the worksite, warehouse, and other industrial jobs. You can only read so many death reports before getting the main idea: staying alive means being safe.

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4. Re-Organize Pathways

Containers, boxes, and lumber need to all be stacked in their proper place – and with good form. Remember, an unstable foundation will mean the rest of the stacks aren’t technically sound, and will eventually tip over. Products and packages that topple over and crash onto workers are the most common form of warehouse-related accidents, so make sure items are stacked properly.[4]

Another step to take to ensure the protection of warehouse workers is another simple one, but is a huge doozy. The simple things are often the most necessary, and the most vital. It involves any vehicles and machines. If you have machinery that’s mobile, keep it to the loading docks and/or outside, away from the main workers who are on foot. This will greatly reduce workplace injuries.[5]

5. Replace and Upgrade Lighting

LED lights are all the rage these days, as they are drastically cost-effective. Not to mention, they’re tremendously brighter than regular incandescent lightbulbs or CFLs. Even special-grade, industrial-only LED floodlights can be installed throughout the warehouse.

Why are LEDs superior to any other bulb? The main reason is that they emit a whopping 6,000 Kelvin, which means they’re whiter than the day itself.[6]

When it comes to knowing your way around, lights are bar-none the clearest way to ensure people know where they’re going, whether they are halogen or LED lights.

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6. Hold Team Meetings

This is one of those areas that should go without saying, but sadly must be said. Each week, a team meeting must be held. These are golden opportunities to keep everyone fresh on the warehouse changes that took place over the week, such as inventory changes, filing system changes, etc.

Keeping people aware and up-to-date on these changes will keep them safe because they will know to watch out for such changes. It’s like being told which street an expert marksman with an M16 is trudging down, and then not walking down that street.

Team meetings held weekly should be mandatory, if not habitual. Have trouble making it a habit? Starting habits aren’t as difficult as some people think.

7. Know Workers’ Rights

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) created guidelines for a reason: to keep people safe. In 1970, they passed a bill into law that effectively said workers have the right to know.

What do they have a right to know? Everything about the job they’re being asked to do. According to OSHA’s guidelines, workers have the right to:

  • Be trained in a language they understand
  • Work ONLY on machines that are proven safe
  • Be given mandatory safety gear (like gloves or harnesses)

These are just a few helpful suggestions you can utilize, today, in your warehouse. Safety is (and should be) the number one priority, in any workplace and office. Certainly, some methods may be more time-consuming and it’s easy to want to cut corners, but why? Doing so plays with peoples’ lives.

Featured photo credit: pashminu via pixabay.com

Reference

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Maya Levine

Passionate Writer & Researcher

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Last Updated on July 10, 2019

10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers

10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers

So you want to land a new job in a new field? That’s great. But before you start sending out applications left and right, you might want to make sure you have a solid resume first. Your resume will most likely be the first thing a potential employer looks at when evaluating you as a job candidate, and if you want to make a good first impression, having a knock-out resume is key.

Considering how competitive the workforce is now, it’s even more important that you create your best resume. Here are ten skills to include in your resume when you switch careers:

1. Computer/ Tech Skills

As technology continues to evolve, it’s essential that you stay up-to-date with the latest emerging trends. You should have a basic knowledge of social networking sites, computer programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and depending on the job you’re applying for, programs such as Adobe FrameMaker, Photoshop or Madcap Flare.

Take a look at this artice on How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

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And research the required computing skills for the profession that interests you, and then if you aren’t already proficient in them, consider taking online courses via a these sites to learn them.

2. Adaptability

Employers value people who can adapt and go with the flow when they need to. In an environment where things are constantly changing, being flexible can be a tremendous asset. If you’re a flexible person, make it clear through your resume, and if you’re selected for an interview, be prepared to give an example of a time when you showed flexibility.

3. Organization

Nobody wants to hire someone who’s scatterbrained and totally lacking in organizational skills. People who are organized are able to work efficiently because they aren’t constantly searching for important documents they’ve misplaced.

Also, being organized signals to your employer that you can manage your workspace well. If you’ve got a knack for being organized, let it be known through your resume.

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4. Communication

Being able to communicate well with others is definitely a desirable trait in an employee. That means responding promptly to emails, voicing concerns right when they pop up and keeping supervisors and team members in the loop about important information they need to know.

Good communication skills deserve a place on your resume for sure and will go a long way towards making you an attractive job candidate.

5. Leadership

If you know how to step up and be a leader, you have a skill that will wow any employer out there.

Think of a time at your current or previous position when you’ve spearheaded a project, organized an event or rallied everyone together for a certain cause. Any leadership experience or skill that you have needs to be highlighted on your resume.

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6. Work Ethic

Working hard and consistently going above and beyond makes you extremely appealing to employers. It’s impressive when an employee takes initiative and does what needs to be done without having to be asked.

If you are a driven, hard worker who routinely goes the extra mile, make it known on your resume.

7. Dependability

When employers have a task that needs to be done, they need to know that the person they ask is going to follow through and do it. Being a dependable person makes you valuable in the eyes of an employer because they want to hire someone who they can trust to do what they say.

If you’re dependable, be sure to list it as a skill on your resume.

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8. Multi-Tasking Abilities

If you’ve ever taken on two different roles at once or juggled working on two different projects, mention on your resume that you’re an exceptional multi-tasker. Many jobs demand that employees can juggle multiple roles at once, so if you excel at doing so, you’ll have an edge over other candidates who aren’t so good at multi-tasking.

9. Analytical/ Problem- Solving Skills

Are you a pro at analyzing situations and assessing things from all angles? Can you analyze trends affecting performance and solve problems and glitches when they surface? If you have the ability to analyze and solve problems, then you have a skill that’s in high demand.

You can save employers valuable time and money because with you on their team, they won’t have to stall and wait too long for a problem to be solved, and they also won’t have to pay to get someone else involved to fix it. This skill absolutely deserves a place on your resume.

10. Interpersonal “People Skills”

Employers want to hire someone who will be able to get along with all different kinds of people. If you work well with others and know how to make them feel appreciated and valued, especially if you can motivate them and get them to come together and cooperate for the common good, then you have excellent interpersonal “people skills” that make you a great candidate for the job.

In a world where the competition is cutthroat for landing the job you want, you have to do what you can to set yourself apart from the competition. Step up your game by listing the skills you have that employers are looking for on your resume. If you play your cards right, with a little luck, a job offer can be yours!

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Featured photo credit: J. Kelly Brito via unsplash.com

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