Health and safety is the number one concern of all employers. Within a warehouse environment risks are abundant; dealing with machinery, vehicles and heavy loads on a daily basis is likely to cause injury if proper health and safety practices are not adhered to, which leads to employee suffering, costly downtime and possible compensation claims. All of these things cost money and cause productivity and morale at work to suffer, so anything you can do to minimise risk needs to be made top priority. Here are five simple ways you can improve the safety culture within your workplace:
1. Minimise Manual Lifting
Manuallifting of heavy or awkward loads is the predominant cause of injury in most warehouses, which results in almost half of all personal injury claims. Recurrent lifting is the cause of stress and strain to the skeleton, which can result in long term injuries to your staff which should be avoided at all costs. Frequent training should be given to staff to ensure they follow best practice when personally handling heavy loads, and by investing in lifting equipment you can virtually eliminate the risk of injury.
Jib cranes can be utilised to tackle the heavy lifting on behalf of your staff and increase overall work efficiency by doing the job faster. They allow loads to be lifted and moved around your warehouse with ease, as long as they are used correctly. Make sure your staff are trained to use the equipment and make sure the instructions are clear and available.
2. Incorporate Ergonomics
Workplaces in all sectors are placing greater importance on ergonomics than ever before. Designing your warehouse ergonomically means you are designing it to work with your employees for their comfort and efficiency. Minimising actions such asuncomfortable bending and reaching is important for decreasing physical strain and back injuries, which lead to time off work. Increasing the overall comfort of your working environment leads to improved staff morale.
With a few small changes you can improve your warehouse ergonomics; by placing frequently used and lifted items between knuckle and shoulder height you can drastically decrease the time your staff spend straining themselves, decreasing the risk of employees suffering from spinal discomfort. If you follow good ergonomic practices you can stop common injuries from occurring in the first place, which can save you significant money long-term.
3. Mind The Little Things
When we think about safety standards a lot of our time is spent worrying about the procedures of large equipment and vehicles as they are the greatest potential hazard, but just as much thought should be given to smaller offenders in the workplace. In the majority of cases a slip here or a trip there won’t cause significant or long term damage, but with the right amount of force a fall can cause serious injury.
Keep your staff safe by making sure the floor is clear of anything that could be tripped over, make sure cords, wires and materials are never left in walkways and the floors are well maintained with no cracks or holes. Clearing the area allows staff better access while they work and can save them, and you, from dealing with a nasty injury in the future.
4. Designate Hazardous Zones
There are bound to be areas in your warehouse that pose agreater risk to personal safety than others and these zones should be clearly marked so everyone present is aware of the danger. Staff should be following best safety practice at all times but reminding them when they should be proceeding with extra caution can keep them from becoming complacent in dangerous zones. Clearly mark the zones with hazard signs so staff can takeresponsibility for their own safety.
5. Make Training A Priority
Avoiding accident and injury is a team effort, there’s no point putting rules and regulations in place if staff aren’t 100% informed about why these are necessary which is why training courses are essential to success. If people are unaware of the danger they are more likely to ignore best practice and put themselves in harm’s way so ensure time is always set aside for training and communication.
Utilising machinery, being aware of the danger and working together are the surest ways to stay safe in a working environment, take a fresh look at your warehouse safety to make sure your standards are up to scratch.
Health blogger Emma Smith is always looking for new ways to improve health and safety in workplaces, utilising lifting equipment is one of the simplest ways to protect employees from unnecessary injury, and she recommends Lifting Gear Direct. They have years of experience providing premium quality jib cranes and other lifting equipment across the UK that enhance safety and efficiency in any working environment.