Opening a new warehouse? Here’s what you need to know about safety

Cassie Stang

By Cassie Stang Business Development at King Solutions

All across the United States, more than 145,000 people go to work in about 7,000 warehouses every single day. Working in the warehousing and storage industry is a remarkably rewarding career that is generally safe, but it does have its hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that the fatal injury rate for the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all industries.

As a warehouse manager/owner, it is important to take every precaution possible when ensuring the safety of your workers, but not every safety precaution is as obvious as prohibiting smoking in a warehouse filled with fireworks.

If you are in the process of opening your first warehouse, here are some of the top safety tips that our team of experts recommend following.

Look to OSHA
OSHA has a great pocket guide that lays out a lot of potential hazards and how to avoid them. It covers everything from general forklift safety to preventing electrical accidents, fires, slips and falls, respiratory diseases and more.

Beyond OSHA’s basic guidelines, there is a lot more that you can do to ensure the safety of your workers.

Promote awareness
It’s not enough to hand out OSHA’s pocket guide to your employees and call it a day. If all the industry needed were the regulations and guidelines set forth by a government agency, warehouse injuries wouldn’t exist.

Just like on-the-job training, safety education is something that needs to be reinforced. It is something that can far too easily be forgotten or pushed to the back of a worker’s mind (especially when things get busy). Supervisors who communicate safety procedures to workers have reduced new disability claims by 47 percent.

Communication
A lot of workplace accidents are caused by poor communication, or the total lack thereof. If every employee is involved in what he or she is doing, even if this includes trying to follow every safety procedure, there is still a chance of accidents occurring.

Supervisors should train employees to be cognizant of those around them and frequently communicate their whereabouts. This includes open dialogue amongst workers as to where they are going what they are carrying. It goes a long way towards preventing collisions and other accidents.

This is also great for reducing product damage and profit loss.

Make sure your equipment isn’t outdated
The technology you have in the warehouse is just as important as the workers who use it. Simply updating your tools can optimize your warehouse processes and make things safer for your workers. From cloud management systems to wearable technology, there are a lot of things that can be purchased in order to maintain an up-to-date warehouse.

Lastly, always remember to keep your warehouse cool in the summer months. Heat stroke is a danger to all warehouse employees.

Professional warehouse management
Owning your own warehouse can be a vital addition to your company, but it can also be a burden if you don’t know what you are doing. At King Solutions, we make sure that every warehouse we manage is safe, clean and profitable for our clients.

warehousing and fulfillment