Adhering to warehouse health and safety regulations isn’t just a matter of keeping up with the law, it’s also solid business practice. Failure to properly implement the correct procedures, or failure to properly facilitate your staff’s understanding and ability to follow those procedures, could result in serious injury as much as it could serious liability.
It is all too easy for management to be solely concerned with the upcoming quarterly figures, but a broader outlook of safety, efficiency, and sustainable practices is equally if not more important to the long-term health of your business.
How, then, to set about correcting a damaging culture of laissez-faire attitudes towards health and safety in your warehouse with sensible corporate logistics solutions that don’t create more problems than they resolve?
1. Go beyond the minimum standards
Your safety management team can all too easily fall into the trap of achieving the bare minimum in order to feel that they have successfully fulfilled their roles and responsibilities. They may attend to the statutory requirements of the warehouse activities and consider the job done, thereafter allowing bad practices to develop, dangerous habits to take hold, so leaving the company and its staff once again teetering on the brink of some impending mishap with the potential for grave consequences. Proactivity is essential, then, which means the safety management team must be sufficiently empowered by leadership to administer continual improvement to how daily tasks are performed.
2. Employ smart solutions
The technology is now available for all kinds of operation types so that the likelihood of human error is greatly reduced. Whether that comes in the form of advanced safety equipment for specific machinery and tasks, or monitoring programmes that not only conduct risk assessment but also accurately predict where the next accident will occur, these mechanisms for enhanced safety can make a real positive impact on workers and organizations alike.
3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Do all your warehouse staff have the correct PPE for their respective responsibilities? What about the temporary staff, do they also have access to all the PPE that permanent members of staff do? Does their PPE fit properly? Is it being used? Do your warehouse staff understand when, why and where it should be worn and the correct procedures and locations for getting changed? Would a temporary member of staff quickly be able to adopt these established procedures, or would they be left wandering around looking for this information? Ask these questions with regularity and make sure your safety management can answer them honestly and correctly.
4. Identify weaknesses
Spotting issues before they spark a problem is easier said than done, but by far the best method, as it always has been, is to speak – and listen – to those in the know; the people who work there every day. Creating open, fluid lines of communication are key. Regular consultation is key. Responsiveness is key. Meetings and form-filling can be a burden on any organization, which is why it’s crucial to make such methods of data gathering count. Your staff will be happy to have a channel by which their voice can be heard, and the business will be successfully mitigating physical and financial risk.