safety warehouse

Worker safety is at the top of every manager’s priority list — and rightly so. An unsafe work environment can lead to staff shortages due to injury or illness, result in fines for violating safety rules, and damage your company’s reputation if people complain about conditions to friends in person or on social media.

Here are a few tips on how to keep your workers safe in your warehouse, especially during the winter months when the weather is an ever-changing challenge.

1. Require personal protective equipment to be worn at all times.

During new employee orientation, there’s probably some information about what kind of protective gear employees need to wear, including closed-toed boots, goggles, gloves, etc. But how often are your employees reminded of this? Is it a recommendation or a recognized requirement? Remind them if you notice people getting a little too relaxed about the rules. Put up more signage around the warehouse reminding your employees that this equipment is needed for their safety and coworkers. There’s no exception to this one.

2. Make sure everything is stored correctly.

From cleaning materials (which can spill and make the floor slippery) to machinery keys (which can be lost, misplaced, or left in ignitions for anyone to use without the proper training), it’s essential to make sure everything is correctly put away. Hazardous chemicals needed for machinery maintenance can be mistaken for less-dangerous liquids; that can lead to burns or other injuries if people aren’t paying attention. Electrical cords left on the floor can be a tripping hazard for people trying to move quickly from one part of the warehouse to another.

3. Watch the doorways.

Especially in the winter, it’s important to keep doorways clean and free from debris. If you work in an area where snow, ice, and sleet are common occurrences, that moisture will follow your employees in the door — make sure there are thick, heavy, and absorbent rugs several feet long in front of all doors to allow workers to dry the soles of their shoes on the way in. It’s also easy for a door propped open to let in a lot of cold air, and anyone working near that open door will be chilled. Cold hands aren’t as nimble and sensitive as warm ones, leading to dropped and fumbled items.

4. Provide adequate safety training.

Do your employees know the right way to lift heavy items? Do they know the right way to store chemicals or heavy equipment? Do they know where emergency exits and stop buttons are located? How about the first aid box and fire extinguishers? This is something else that’s likely reviewed during a new employee’s orientation, but it bears repeating to the whole team to keep everyone on the same level. Awareness is important!

5. Make sure any and all injuries are reported immediately and investigated.

If anyone is hurt on the job, make sure they get the medical care they need. Then start asking questions: What happened? Why did this mishap occur? Were any safety protocols ignored or missed? If someone slipped due to a wet floor, make sure the liquid is cleaned up right away, and a yellow caution sign is put in place. If someone got their clothes caught in some equipment, this is an excellent opportunity to remind people of proper clothing to wear to work around heavy machinery. If someone is hit by falling material, make sure things are secured correctly and in the right place. Don’t try to gloss over a warehouse injury, as it could come back to cause bigger problems in the future.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep a warehouse safe — from management on down. If you show that this is a priority, your team will understand and follow suit.

Connect with Davis Staffing

If you need to make sure you’re meeting OSHA regulations or looking to add more trained warehouse workers to your team, call Davis Staffing. We’re happy to provide the assistance you need! Contact Davis Staffing today, and let’s get to work.