3 Steps to Maintaining a Safe Work Environment in a Warehouse
On April 4, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that a worker in Katy, Texas, had been crushed between a bulldozer and a storage container. Sadly, tragedies like this can happen in any workplace if certain precautions aren’t taken. If your business has a warehouse or works with any type of hazardous equipment, here are just a few things that you should be doing.
Have Regular Equipment Training
As noted with the example above, working with equipment can be very dangerous. Not only can you get severely hurt, but you can die. Such situations can be mere happenstance, but often the cause is a neglect of rules or a lack of proficiency in operating a piece of equipment. That is why training is necessary.
Many businesses only think about training their brand-new employees on how to properly and safely use their equipment. However, the experienced workers could still benefit from training as well. It would act as a reminder of how to stay safe and still get the job done.
Training could also be used to make workers more proficient and discourage any negative habits that they might have obtained during their time working on the job. Sometimes employees create their own way of doing things just to get the job done faster, which can endanger themselves and others if it’s not the right way to operate a machine.
If you’re using a crane -ike those from Advanced Overhead Crane Services, for example, you should make sure that all of your crane operators pass an initial training course before being allowed to operate a crane freely. Then, give monthly training to help them keep their training in mind throughout their career with your company.
Post-Safety Signs Everywhere
Just as regular training can act as a reminder, signs can do that as well. According to The Safety Record, OSHA has three classifications of signs for you to consider putting up around your company’s warehouse.
The danger sign is red, black and white and tells those who see it that danger is present.
The caution sign is yellow and black and warns passersby of a potential hazard. It can also be used to deter employees from utilizing unsafe practices.
The safety instruction sign is white and green and is used to tell employees about the instructions that they should follow and any safety measures that they should consider as well.
These signs should be placed in the areas where equipment is both housed and most often used.
Encourage Open Communication
Communication is key when it comes to providing a safe environment. Let your employees that you want them to talk to each other. Of course, professionalism is important; however, if someone is riding a forklift and isn’t communicating with his or her spotter, then something can get broken or, even worse, someone can get hurt.
Speaking of spotters, a spotter is someone who stands to the side to make sure that the machine being used is moving where it’s supposed to (not hitting anything or anyone). Their job is also to look out for anything that the operator may not be able to.
If the spotter sees the operator using the machine in a way that could be hazardous, then the spotter should speak up and warn the operator. For example, OSHA says that operators shouldn’t have workers riding on the pallets lifted up by forklifts. If a spotter sees the operator doing this, then he or she should put a stop to this.
As you can see, if the spotter and operator aren’t on good terms, though, communication might go out the window, and the results could be devastating.
If you think that your business may have been a bit lax in the past about work safety, then it’s time to implement some changes and pick up the slack. The lives of your employees and customers depend on it.