Not only will improved health and safety at your warehouse reduce the chance of injuries occurring, but it can boost morale by showing you care for the well-being of your employees. So here are some warehouse safety tips to follow
1. Transport of goods
Having the wrong resources and not enough training creates injuries. Back strains and other pulled muscles are a huge culprit for workers having to miss work.
There is plenty of coverage on how to reduce the risk of back injuries in warehouses. One common factor in the majority of them is moving goods incorrectly.
In our post, 17 ways to improve warehouse efficiency, we covered marking warehouse stock. Labelling stock by weight means you can dictate to staff which items can be picked up by hand and which items need a vehicle to move.
Pallet trucks are extremely useful and need little training to move heavier items. But if you plan on moving pallets filled with stock, you will need a forklift. At Premier, we sell a range of new and used forklift trucks. Forklift trucks require extra staff training but remain an invaluable part of warehouse management and safety.
Nowadays, you don’t even have to buy a forklift. Forklifts can easily be rented and shipped out to your warehouse.
Our forklift hire periods can be as short as a single day, while customised deals are available on long-term rentals of up to five years.
There’s also no need to worry about receiving a non-functional or dangerous forklift. All our forklifts are subject to regular checks. We know how much of a priority they are for safety, so you should never worry about their use putting your staff at risk.
If you hire a forklift ensure that you or your staff are properly trained. As mentioned above, forklifts can help avoid back injuries, but only if you have the right training to use this machinery.
2. Clothing PPE
Your staff requires the right personal protective equipment (PPE). Basic warehouse clothing includes safety gloves, steel toe boots, high visibility clothing and hard hats. The purpose of PPE is to reduce worker exposure to hazards.
Your protective clothing stops anything from small injuries to potentially life-threatening ones. According to the HSE, employers are required to provide you with the PPE you require.
Some warehouses even have their own warehouse safety products and PPE. Your warehouse might need these other forms of PPE:
- Safety glasses (for falling debris and handling chemicals)
- Earplugs (for working in high decibel areas)
- Respirators masks (if there’s a risk of inhaling dangerous chemicals)
3. Fire exits
Having fire exits at your warehouse is a given. One thing we do notice frequently is people leaving stock blocking these exits. This can prevent staff from quickly escaping when there is a fire. On top of this you should also consider these factors:
Annual fire drill
Running a fire drill once a year can help you prepare staff by letting them know routes to take and where to meet up. By practising it at least once a year, your staff will be ready and you could potentially save lives if the worst-case scenario occurs.
Weekly fire alarm test
On top of this, you should check if your fire and smoke alarms are working. Every month you should check for any damage to your fire extinguishers and you should be aware of when they expire.
A fire escape plan
For new staff, you will need to explain to them your warehouse’s fire escape plan. They will need to know.
- Where all the exits are
- Where the meet-up point is once they have escaped
- Where the fire extinguishers are
- What extinguishers are used for what fires
Designate a fire warden
Your fire warden is another member of staff that can help others out and keep everything under control in the event a fire breaks out. We recommend that they have a pdf of the employees at the warehouse. This means you can take attendance of the staff when they meet at a rendezvous point.
4. Pallets and racking
Health and safety in the warehouse revolve heavily around how secure your pallets and racking are. Your staff should be able to:
- Inspect any pallets and racking they use and notice if there are any issues with them
- Put stock safely on to racking
- Report any unsafe racking or pallet to management
The most important step for each member of staff is to have the proper training. Each previous step will refer back to this because properly trained staff will be able to point out when something is unsafe in your warehouse.
When staff have the proper health and safety training, they can notice issues such as:
- Dangerous racking and pallets
- If there are blocked fire exits
- If untrained staff are using forklifts
- They can even call out other staff members for not wearing their PPE
You should also have staff that are first aid trained. So in the event of anyone becoming seriously injured, at least your staff can help each other until an ambulance arrives.
6. Warehouse safety products
Other than PPE and a reliable form of transporting goods like a forklift, there are some other warehouse safety products that you need to consider:
- Guard rails
- Slip tape
- First aid kit
- Impact edge protection
These warehouse safety products have become necessities over the years but can still be forgotten by those opening their first warehouse.
A forklift will improve your warehouse safety
If you believe a forklift truck can help with your health and safety at a working warehouse get in contact with us. We can be reached at 01254 583 533 or you can email for further enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, make sure to check our guides on warehouse compliance, the latest trends in warehouse technology, and sustainable practices to make your warehouse greener!