Warehouse safety management involves more than just having rules. It takes preventive action. You know that obvious risks like horseplay, speeding and irresponsible driving should be addressed immediately in your facility. But, what about those common everyday slips in safety protocol? How are you managing those hidden risks?
One of the biggest mistakes we can make while working in a warehouse environment is underestimating the real possibility of injury while completing routine tasks. Let’s face it, shortcuts and risk-taking happens and it’s usually without much thought about what is at stake.
But the stakes are higher in a warehouse or manufacturing facility. In fact, manufacturing ranked second in the number of non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses by private industry, and fifth in incidence rates. Statistically, one in 10 forklifts will be involved in an accident this year, and approximately 100,000 workers will be injured due to improper training or complacency on the job.
A warehouse manager should always be looking at what is going wrong with safety and why? And the solution is awareness, reminders and monitoring safety continuously. OSHA recently released a its list of most frequently cited workplace safety violations for 2019.
Here are the top areas of concern when it comes to complacency and poor judgement on the job:
- Fall Protection – meeting and following the general requirements
- Hazard Communication – loss or lack of communication with employees working on the warehouse floor
- Scaffolding – failing to have this properly in place where it is needed.
- Lockout/Tagout – Equipment still being used even when it has a mechanical issue and needs repairs? A telematic lockout/tag out function should make vehicles inoperable during safety check questions, repairs or maintenance.
- Respiratory Protection – your facility may have it, but are employees always using it?
- Ladders – What goes up, will come down. The question is, are these pieces of equipment used properly with a respect for safety?
- Powered industrial trucks - According to OSHA, there are approximately 85 forklift-related fatalities each year. Your telematics software can help you identify risky behaviors and operators in need of safety reminders or more training.
- Training requirements - There should be regular refresher training offered and all forklift operators should be certified for the forklift they drive. Training needs should be recognized and should never be postponed because of tight schedules.
The take away
These top offenses contributed a total of 26,915 violations during the 2019 fiscal year - costing employees their lives or health. But, accidents, impacts and injuries are costly mistakes that are often avoidable. The success of your safety strategy depends on the quality of data you receive from your monitoring software.
Look for a software platform that delivers real-time monitoring to track poor behavior or safety infractions and alerts you to any area where risk is increased. This insight facilitates proactive risk management - before a costly mistake occurs.