Ensuring safety in the warehouse is critical for protecting the well-being of your employees. A safe work environment helps prevent injuries on the job, increases productivity, and decreases liability. In fact, failing to implement warehouse safety protocols can lead to a high turnover rate, extended medical absences, and lawsuits. Let’s take a look at how you can provide a safe work environment for your team, according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) with this warehouse safety guide.
Provide Informational Standards
Employees should have access to all standard information on all chemicals, equipment, and other materials they may come in contact within the workplace. This includes the nature of the material, safe operating procedures, and emergency protocols (e.g., getting a hazardous chemical on your skin). It is advisable to have at least one hard-copy on the warehouse floor and digital copies distributed to each employee.
Install Safety Signage
Appropriately placed signs provide critical information about chemicals, machines, and specific areas of the warehouse. Signage provides direction, rules, procedures, and pertinent information. Examples of signage include:
- Clearly labeling first-aid stations, such as showers, or eye-wash sinks
- Identifying the location of fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and emergency exits
- Announcing inherent dangers that come with entering a specific area, such as high-voltage
- Informing employees of the classification of chemicals
Invest in Proper Safety Equipment
It is crucial to invest in safety equipment known as PPE (personal protective equipment) for your staff and have it easily accessible. The type of safety equipment needed depends on what kind of machinery your employees will operate and chemicals they will come in contact with. Common types of PPE include:
- Safety glasses
- Hard hats
- Respiratory masks
Supplying the proper safety equipment will make your staff feel more comfortable in the workplace and increase morale and productivity.
Provide Thorough Training
Investing in proper training is the first step to ensuring safety in the warehouse. Each new employee should go through a comprehensive training course that includes:
- How to safely handle and operate all chemicals and machinery in the workplace
- The location of and how to use safety equipment gear
- Safety protocols
- Emergency plans (It is advisable to practice emergency drills at least once a year)
Periodic retraining should take place to help employees brush up on their skills. You should also hold special training sessions if a new piece of equipment, chemical, or material is introduced.
Ready to Hire Your Next Team Member?
Safety in the warehouse is your number one concern, and one of the first elements you should address with new hires. When it comes time to find your next great employee, let the professionals help. Arrow Staffing specializes in Grand Rapids warehouse staffing. Our specialists understand the needs of warehouses and will work with you to find the perfect candidates. Request an employee today and let us take care of the rest!