Starting an unfamiliar job is one of the most stress-inducing experiences you can face. And it’s worse when your career comes with inherent danger. For warehouse workers, hazardous objects and situations are common. As such, a high level of competence is necessary to manage and minimize these workplace threats. Here are three helpful workplace safety tips for new warehouse managers.
Safety Basics: Clean Environments and PPE
All types of warehouses, regardless of industry, stick to basic safety rules and procedures. Third-party governing bodies enforce some of these protocols, while warehouses may voluntarily accept others. However, the most commonly upheld warehouse safety practices are a consistently clean environment and proper use of PPE.
First, warehouses are home to various industrial machines, complex electrical systems, high-voltage equipment, and other serious hazards. These workplace dangers are significantly more treacherous in cluttered, dirty environments. For example, dust accumulation due to a lack of regular cleaning can lead to spontaneous combustion. Also, messy warehouses are typically less productive and successful than organized, well-managed facilities. Ensure you regularly clean your conveyor belt and related warehouse equipment to avoid complications and work stoppages.
PPE, or personal protective equipment, is essential for safety in any hazardous line of work. Certain warehouses enforce mandatory PPE for all employees, such as high-visibility garments, reinforced steel-toed boots, hard hats, N95 masks, and more. Depending on yourwarehouse’s PPE requirements, you should supply most of these items for your staff. This ensures that everyone in the facility is ready for a safe and successful shift.
Advanced Safety Management: Directing Warehouse Traffic
Another unique aspect of managing warehouses is the responsibility of directing traffic. This traffic is typically quite diverse, consisting of human workers, motorized machines, and engine-powered forklifts. So how does a manager effectively design their environment to promote productivity and success without sacrificing safety?
The answer is as simple as basic road design. Your warehouse floor mustfeature defined pathways! Much like a public street has certain lanes for specific vehicles, your facility can benefit from floor markings that define workflow directions. Use distinctly colored tape to separate traffic and work zones, ensuring people and large machines remain separate.
The Human Element: Education, Training, and Communication
Warehouse safety doesn’t solely concern equipment and environmental maintenance; you must address the human element as well. Human labor can have mistakes, and the consequences are often severe. The best way to prevent mishaps from occurring is through consistent and robust education and training.
Ensure that every new employee receives adequate training before they enter potentially hazardous situations. More importantly, they should continue this training throughout their careers with regular education. These “refreshment” lessons keep workers sharp and less accident-prone. Lastly, effectively communicate essential safety procedures through accessible announcements, wall markings, signage, and scheduled meetings.
These workplace safety tips for new warehouse managers will ensure your employees remain properly protected in any situation. Utilize safety resources, such as those from OSHA and other organizations, to create the most effective procedures and practices for your facility.