Warehouse Safety Tips and Strategies for Fulfillment Operations

May 27, 2021 by Amware Fulfillment

Even in the safest fulfillment center operations, managers and associates can benefit from regular warehouse safety tips. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle in eCommerce fulfillment centers as order fulfillment associates strive to get orders picked, packed, and out the door. Without good safety practices, the warehouse environment is ripe for accidents.

In fact, 227,900 transportation and warehouse workers got hurt on the job in 2019. Even worse, this number has climbed steadily since 2015, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s up to warehouse operators to do our part in bringing this number down. Check out the following warehouse safety tips to promote healthy and safety at work.

 

Warehouse Safety Tips for the Warehouse Floor

Here are some warehouse safety tips for pickers and equipment operators as they move around the warehouse floor.

  • warehouse-safety-tipsStart each warehouse shift with safety reminders. Virtually every warehouse has a pre-shift meeting that all associates attend before beginning work. Include a safety briefing and helpful safety advice in all of these meetings to keep safe practices top of mind.
  • Honk if you love safety. Instruct forklift operators to honk the horn at every intersection. This practice lets other workers know that a forklift is present, especially around blind corners. Enhancing forklifts with technology that flashes a light in front of and behind the vehicle signals their presence even more.
  • Choose your champions. Assign site safety champions who exemplify safe work practices and take the lead on warehouse safety efforts. These leaders can promote safety to co-workers and bring new improvement ideas to regular meetings.
  • Don’t show off. As the old saying goes, pride comes before a fall. Teach associates that it’s okay to ask for help on heavy lifts, when climbing up ladders, or other tasks that may result in injury if attempted alone.
  • Cross-train your order fulfillment associates. Make sure they are not repeatedly performing the same tasks day in and day out. This can help to avoid repetitive stress injuries.
  • Slow down. Moving with purpose is good practice, but nothing good happens when associates start to rush across the warehouse. Encourage workers to temper their speeds with awareness and safety.
  • Stay focused. Distracted workers create a higher probability of safety incidents. Train workers to keep their eyes up and to be aware of their surroundings. There is a lot going on in a busy facility, so walking through the warehouse should be treated like driving a car on a busy highway.
  • Conduct regular safety evaluations. The eCommerce sector is undergoing rapid change. Within fulfillment warehouses, there’s more equipment, activity and throughput in a smaller space. Continuous monitoring will help to ensure these changes don’t create unexpected hazards.

 

Warehouse Safety Tips for Cold, Flu, and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic taught warehouse operators the importance of incorporating better health-related safety practices into their operations. Promoting measures that keep associates from getting sick will provide a better working environment and put less strain on your labor force from the pandemic, or during cold and flu season. Here are some additional warehouse safety tips specifically related to preventing illness in your warehouse:

  • Keep surfaces clean. Regularly clean and disinfect material handling equipment, packing stations, break rooms, and other shared surfaces to kill bacteria and viruses. Schedule cleaning breaks into your workflow to make sure it happens regularly.
  • Promote good hand hygiene. Hand washing in the warehouse has long been relegated to the breakroom and the restroom, but this might not be enough to protect your entire workforce. Offer additional handwashing stations and hand sanitizers to ensure associates can keep their hands clean as they move through the warehouse.
  • Allow masks indefinitely. Masking-wearing due to COVID-19 had the unintended side effect of reducing cold and flu infections as well. While many warehouse associates will undoubtedly choose to stop wearing masks as pandemic restrictions ease, foster an environment where workers feel comfortable still wearing masks if they want to.

At Amware Fulfillment, Stay Safe is a key tenet of our 5-point House Rules culture. We have a zero-tolerance policy for safety violations, driven by a zero-incident goal. When we measure safety performance, zero is always our benchmark. To see how Amware Fulfillment’s safety culture and our comprehensive order fulfillment services can give your brand an advantage, contact us today.

 

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Filed Under: Fulfillment Operations