Your warehouse is a place of function, not pleasure. It’s where you store your stock, process orders – it’s essentially the thriving hub of your business, without which you would cease to function. When something is that important, it’s only natural to give it a lot of time and thought to ensure it’s running like it should.
In the midst of all this, however, there’s one important thing you can ill afford to forget when it comes to your warehouse: it has to be safe. It has to be safe for employees to work in for their own health, but also because an injury to an employee could end up costing your business a small fortune. Safety measures have a tendency to fly under the radar rather than receiving the attention they really deserve, so let’s rectify that and examine the areas you just can’t overlook.
The potential hazards of bad flooring are fairly obvious. If you just have a concrete floor in a warehouse, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of expensive maintenance – concrete is rather soft when impacted, after all.
A lot of warehouses opt for a strong, industrial flooring secured with spray adhesive rather than relying on the bare concrete. This is a great idea, but you have to ensure it’s flat and even, with no places where an employee could trip and fall. Prioritise this, too – the moment a defect appears, act on it as a matter of urgency.
2. Suspended Items
There’s a lot of suspension in your average warehouse, from the structures that secure the roof to the lighting that illuminates the whole building. If something were to come crashing down, then there’s no doubt that someone is going to get hurt.
If anything is suspended from the ceiling – anything at all – it needs to be inspected regularly to ensure it’s still holding. Once a month is sufficient for a quick check over, while you should investigate in more depth every six months. Again, the moment a defect appears, rectify it immediately.
3. Falling Items
The way that shelves are stocked in a warehouse is essential to the safety of employees. Loose items on shelves are a complete no-no; they should always be barriered in in some way, so if the shelf is jostled, the items are going to stay in place.
It’s also important to ensure you don’t ignore heavy items, thinking they will be able to withstand any movement and thus won’t come crashing down. Treat everything that is stored above head height as a potential falling risk, along with the catastrophic consequences of that happening – keep everything as secure as it can be, or gravity is going to win the day.
4. Blind Spots
Particularly important if you have a lot of moving vehicles in your warehouse, it’s essential that you take care of blind spots. These are areas where it’s not possible to see what’s around a corner, usually due to an obstruction caused by shelving or other units. Always install mirrors so that anyone passing through the warehouse on foot or on wheels is always able to see what might be coming in the opposite direction.