Warehouses are busy environments in which there are lots of moving pieces to the puzzle, namely machinery, goods and personnel.
In combination, there is great potential for injury, illness or death for all those who work within a warehouse. This is addition to the damage to equipment or stock due to improper handling which although is of less importance than personal safety, can still be incredibly costly to a business.
Having an acute awareness of health and safety within a warehouse is key to avoiding such outcomes. Metreel is a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment in the UK, meaning we can advise businesses on how to make their warehouse or manufacturing environment safer and more efficient.
As well as contacting us directly for advice, here are our top tips on what to do in the interim to ensure safety is the top priority within your warehouse.
Establish A Clear & Consistence Health And Safety Stance
It only takes one piece of missing information or miscommunication to lead to injury within a workplace. Depending on the turnover of staff in a warehouse and the health and safety procedures in place, new employees may not be given the same training as existing employees.
That’s why every warehouse must have a consistent routine when onboarding employees, as well as maintaining the level of health and safety awareness throughout the premises. Every employee must have relevant training and certifications to work within a warehouse and operate machinery without exception.
There may need to be safety tasks that are completed daily (i.e. the checking of equipment), and maintenance that is scheduled on a regular basis. Appoint a member of staff to oversee that any safety-related task never falls below the required standard.
Invest In The Right Handling Equipment
Lifting or repetitive labour-intensive tasks can pose various hazards for employees, yet remain a key aspect of warehouse operations.
Wherever appropriate, equipment to automate tasks or reduce strain on employees should be considered. Known as material handling equipment, it can include the likes of workstation cranes, jibs, track systems, hoists, balancers, winches, gantries and monorails.
Furthermore, if you work with a material handling company such as ourselves here at Metreel, we can create a tailored solution based on the specifics of your warehouse. All of which is designed to not only offer the best satisfaction for you as a client but will also ensure that safety remains paramount within the types of machinery used and their overall setup.
Browse all Metreel material handling equipment.
No warehouse would be complete without its fair share of pallets, whether these are wooden or plastic in origin. Employees must be able to load, unload and manoeuvre pallets without the risk of injury, including after the pallets have been stacked within the warehouse.
Employees need to be trained in how to move and stack pallets correctly, including ensuring that heavier pallets are stored at the bottom. The pallets themselves need to be in good working order and free from cracks, chips or any other defect that could affect the integrity of the pallet.
Staff should also be instructed not to walk or climb over pallets, and to access the pallets at height using ladders rather than forklift trucks.
Fire safety doesn’t always spring to mind in a warehouse environment, due to the concentration being on the heavy loads and moving machinery. However, the risk of fire is present in all workplaces, and warehouses are no exception.
Every employee must be aware of the fire exits on the premises, and conducting regular fire drills will be a testament to this. As well as having working fire alarms and signage clearly dictating fire exits and the location of the nearest fire extinguisher, employees will also require training in how to manage any materials which are a potential fire hazard.
Furthermore, a designated fire warden will be in charge of overseeing all fire safety matters within the warehouse. This individual must also continually look out for any potential fire hazards, such as blocked fire routes or the improper storage of flammable materials.
Ensure A Zero Tolerance Against Health And Safety Breaches
It’s a simple fact that if the approach to health and safety is lacklustre at best, then it can be difficult to enforce let alone encourage proper procedures.
That’s why all warehouse employers must have a zero tolerance to health and safety breaches, particularly if a serious breach has been committed. This also includes if staff do not attend necessary training or show reluctance in maintaining their equipment or reporting faults.
Ultimately, employers must lead from the top and demonstrate that there is no room for complacency where the safety or well-being of others is considered.
Metreel Material Handling Equipment UK
Need any more help in relation to improving the safety within your warehouse? Or want to know how to make your manufacturing operations safer and more efficient? Metreel is a leading manufacturer of material handling and fall protection in the UK.
Based in Derbyshire, we operate not just across the East Midlands but on a global scale. So, if you are in search of the perfect material handling solutions for your business, or if you have any questions about warehouse safety in general, you’re in the right place.
You can also download our free brochure to discover more about our product specifications by visiting our product brochure page. If you’re ready to place an order or have any questions, please give us a call on 0115 932 7010 or email us at [email protected].