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Building a safety culture in your warehouse

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Based on recent results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Standards, fatal injuries have declined by nearly 25 percent over the past 10 years. Out of 4821 total fatal work injuries in 2014, 94 can be attributed to falls, slips and trips, which took place in warehouses and manufacturing operations.

We’ve talked about using ergonomic practices that limit injuries when moving items in the warehouse. But have you instilled a culture of safety with your workforce? Do they put a high priority on safety? If not, you need to help employees understand that it is critical for them to follow established safety rules and regulations.

Building a safety culture

Train employees on each piece of equipment – how to operate it and how to stay safe when using it. At UNEX, we run forklift training at least once a year, and encourage employees who do not operate them regularly to get as much training as possible. This helps employees better understand and respect forklift safety protocols.

Ask workers to report others if they see unsafe conditions or activities. Tell workers you want to make sure they get home safely to their family, which is why you have established these procedures. Show them you care about their safety, and they will care about it too.

Regularly train employees, from new hires to long-timers. Keep reminding them of safety issues.

Use graphics and charts, posted in very visible areas, that show number of days without an accident. Create a contest to see which area can go the longest without an accident; incentivize winners.

Make sure equipment is well-maintained, work spaces are clean and warehouse aisles are clear from clutter to keep people from tripping.

According to OSHA, companies must post occupational health and safety program information in a prominent location. Create a safety team that can help uncover safety issues that may exist in the facility.

Encourage employees to be aware of their surroundings at all times and stay alert. Have them wear personal protection equipment when appropriate.

Safety rules and regulations exist to keep your workers safe. Can you think of any other ways to build a safety culture?

About Unex:
UNEX provides solutions that are fundamentally focused on ergonomics and aim to eliminate overexertion in clients' operations. For example, it is very common for workers to injure themselves by reaching deep into a pallet rack in order to pick a case. If a case is stored on a pallet on the floor, they have to bend and reach, limiting their ability to properly lift the case and increasing their odds for injury. If the case is stored deep within the pallet rack, visibility and reach is compromised and further jeopardizes the worker’s safety when picking a case.

UNEX Span-Track ensures that the case is at the point of pick, and that workers do not have to climb into a pallet rack to reach them. UNEX's SKUBE software will slot the more popular products in the Golden Zone (above the knees, below the shoulders, and close to the body), making the lift as safe and easy for the picker as possible. Combining Span-Track with tilted pick trays allows workers to get a better look at cases stored higher in the pallet rack, and allows them to pick that case without blindly reaching into the rack or scaling the beams.

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