Warehouses can be crowded and busy. When you have multiple groups of employees performing different actions at one time, the possibility for injury is always close at hand. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to improve the safety of your warehouse and ensure that the push for warehouse efficiency doesn't result in lost time (or worse) due to accidents.
- Use WMS Routing - The single best way to prevent people from running into each other with carts in the aisles is to use your WMS's built in routing systems. The WMS guides every employee on the floor and gives them directions to their next location in a way that avoids congestion and keeps everyone moving freely.
- One Way Streets - Warehouses that rely heavily on forklifts and tugs to move bulk product often require their drivers to all move in the same direction with one way aisles. This prevents cross traffic in heavy machinery and makes sure that employees on foot always know which direction to look for oncoming vehicles.
- Install Signs and Mirrors - Safety signs around stairwells and doors can keep people from stepping out in front of carts and trolleys. In addition, mirrors at the end of aisles will improve visibility and ensure that nobody is injured rounding a corner.
- Take Advantage of Automation - Some automated processes within your warehouse can enhance safety while simultaneously adding to your warehouse efficiency. For instance, carousels and vertical lifts can reduce your employee's overall movement and reduce lifting motions that are common causes of injury. These technologies also cut down on wasted time and boost productivity.
- Empower Employees - Your employees don't like going home with broken bones any more than you like paying worker's compensation claims. Most of your employees are looking for opportunities to actively engage in improving safety conditions. In fact, they may be able to point out hazards in your warehouse that are hard to see unless you're out there in the heat of battle. Holding safety panels or asking for volunteers for a safety team is a great way to empower employees to report hazards in a timely manner and actually address them before there is a serious injury.
These are just five of the most common ways that warehouses invest in a safer work environment for their employees. Some of the tools for improving safety improve warehouse efficiency on their own, but all of them pay off in less lost time due to accidents and clean up. It only takes a few minutes each week to discuss safety with your team members and make sure that you are taking care of hazards appropriately.