That which is not measured cannot be improved.
If you operate a warehouse, it’s easy to forget about safety as you work to meet demand.
And that’s just become all the more difficult during the coronavirus pandemic here.
But if you fail to track your warehouse safety performance accurately, that eventually catches up to you. This leads to increasing costs, lower productivity, and perhaps trouble with OSHA.
So, to keep your warehouse safe and profitability high, make sure you measure these warehouse safety metrics:
1. Accident and Injury Rate
This one seems obvious at first.
But, it is a lagging indicator.
And it would be best if you could prevent injuries from happening in the first place, wouldn’t it?
Otherwise, you have to use this lag indicator.
And that means it can take months (and many costly accidents) to gather the data, refine your processes, and actually reduce your accident and injury rates.
2. Near Misses
While you may still want to measure accident and injury rate, the number of near misses may be more helpful to measure.
A “near miss” happens when damage or harm could easily have occurred, but actually did not. So, you have to identify the conditions that make an accident likely.
And since this is a leading indicator, you can actually take action before disaster strikes and costs you lower productivity, lost morale, and reduced profitability.
3. Worker Fatigue
While most warehouses track the amount of time to complete a task versus the expected time, fatigue may be a more useful indicator.
If you help workers optimize their energy and minimize their fatigue, they’ll naturally work faster and make fewer mistakes.
Simply evaluating an employee negatively for missing a certain expected time to complete a task doesn’t address why they’re missing that goal in the first place.
So instead of fixing a surface issue, you fix the root cause. And that leads to effective long-term solutions that keep your profitability high.
4. Lifting Intensity
Think about situations when you have lifted heavy weights for an extended period of time.
You feel quite worn out after doing so, don’t you?
And then naturally, everything you do after that doesn’t benefit from your full effort. So, your productivity falls.
You also become more susceptible to making mistakes and causing accidents.
But what if you scheduled heavy lifting near the end of a worker’s shift?
Then they have higher productivity and a much lower chance of succumbing to fatigue and making a mistake.
If your warehouse limits what employees can repetitively lift, simply track when and how long this is done. And then make changes based on how you find that affects your employees.
You’ll never have the perfect warehouse.
But, you can minimize your accidents and maximize productivity and profitability by tracking the most useful safety metrics and making improvements where you can.