Many businesses use warehouse distribution centers to help fulfill customer orders quickly and ensure an efficient supply chain. But fast and efficient should not come at the expense of safety. There are real hazards associated with warehouse operations. Addressing and eliminating these hazards helps to ensure a safer and more profitable operation.
Because warehouse distribution centers focus on physical activities like loading and unloading trucks, moving material to storage and operating heavy equipment, they are susceptible to a host of safety issues. Many of these issues are the result of improper equipment use or maintenance, poor housekeeping and lack of employee training. For example, maintenance personnel who work to repair a broken conveyor system without following lock-out procedures risk bodily injury. Following proper procedures minimizes the risk.
Distribution centers can reduce safety risks if they recognize and promptly address hazards and provide employees with proper training and guidance. For example, managers can make sure only trained and qualified personnel operate forklifts, or see to it that order pickers and packers receive ergonomics training to minimize injuries from repetitive motion. Managers can create and enforce storage standards for stacking and storing materials in a way that keeps aisles clear and keeps items from toppling over. Managers can also conduct regular safety inspections and hold regular safety meetings to create a safer warehouse.