When it comes to warehouse operations, cleanliness and organization are a critical part of overall efficiency as well as the safety of products and employees. Adhering to warehouse safety tips and taking simple steps in warehouse cleaning can make a big impact in keeping employees safe and running a productive business. Here are the top four sanitation and safety best practices for running and working in a thriving warehouse.
Train Your Staff
You can only be as good as your weakest link, and staff being uneducated about warehouse safety tips is not an option. By OSHA requirements, staff should be trained annually regarding the guidelines. Ensure employees are tasked with specific roles to implement safety regulations and educate them on what to look for and who to talk to when they observe a problem. Offer incentives to staff for ongoing safety training to make sure both new and experienced staff understand the best safety practices.
Keep It Clean
Warehouse cleaning has a critical role in sanitation as liquids and spills can lead to damaged products and employee injuries, if left unattended. Implement a master cleaning schedule including a floor plan of the entire area, being sure to highlight hard to reach spaces and equipment. Clean up or dispose of any spilled or opened products as this can cause immediate harm to employees, damage equipment, contaminate other products or even attract pests. Take preemptive steps to guarantee a clean and pest free warehouse by ensuring floors are free of stray tools, liquids or other hazardous material. Last but not least, invite your pest control provider to your property for a thorough inspection to catch any areas overlooked.
Inspect and Organize
The product going out of the warehouse is just as important as the product coming into the warehouse. Inspect incoming shipments for damages to any packages or products as well as signs of pest activity, such as live or dead rodents or insects. Set up quarantine areas for products that have been damaged, contaminated or need to be returned. Employees should not bring a pallet of goods directly from the transport vehicle into storage areas until it has been inspected. Instead, break down pallets at the loading dock. If there are pests on a pallet, do not bring it into the facility; segregate it to a returns and recall section to prevent the pallet from contaminating other goods. Once products are inside, use of proper shelving and organization can be a simple step towards safety, as improper stacking and a lack of organization can contribute to the growing injuries in warehouses. Place all supplies on shelving and include labels for easy access. Implement proper stock-rotation practices so older products are always used first.
Divide and Conquer
These warehouse cleaning and safety responsibilities cannot fall on just one person, as tasks will inevitably slip through the cracks leaving your warehouse and employees at risk. Take the time during staff training to assign employees’ roles and ensure there is a checklist for warehouse cleaning and safety for each person. This checklist will act as a constant reminder and guarantee tasks are being handled fully and efficiently.
Once armed with warehouse safety tips and an improved sanitation regime, your warehouse can be a proficient and safe place to work.