How to Protect Your Employees in an Overflowing Warehouse

Did you think that warehouses were struggling to keep up with online shopping demand before COVID broke out last year?

Whatever growth projections were made at the time have been shattered by now.

Backrooms overflow with product. Demand explodes at literally any moment.

How do you keep your employees safe in a physically demanding, and increasingly dangerous, job?

OSHA provides a set of 10 standards they expect you to follow. Let’s cover some of the most important aspects together:

1. Constant Monitoring of PPE Use

Personal protective equipment use falls partially on you the employer. You need to provide PPE, train employees on how to use it, and do the necessary maintenance.

But your employees have responsibilities too. They have to wear PPE correctly, attend training sessions, follow through on what they learned, properly care for their PPE, and inform your supervisors when it needs replacement.

2. Use the Correct Safety Signage

OSHA has quite the exacting standards when it comes to safety signage. Basically, you need signs that cover these areas:

  • Notice
  • General safety
  • Admittance
  • Fire safety
  • Non-hazard

OSHA’s standards describe exactly what signs you need, where to put those signs, and what they must look like.

For example, caution signs don’t need to be as obvious as danger signs because the risk of injury they notify you of isn’t as great. However, they still need to be clearly marked because they can help your employees avoid injuries.

Here’s a link to OSHA’s precise safety sign standards.

3. Offer Ongoing Safety Training

Warehouse workers with consistent training on the latest safety measures will obviously have the lowest risk of injury.

But actually executing a safety training program is its own animal.

Start with comprehensive safety training that applies to all warehouse workers. But also zone in on precise safety training for specific roles at your warehouse.

Employees also need to have training in their primary language. Your warehouse team is probably made of people from several different ethnicities. For them to be safe and effective workers, they need safety training in their primary language, even if they speak English well enough as a secondary language.

You also should have your own regularly scheduled safety meetings. And finally you should develop your own safety checklists and standard operating procedures so you cover every last detail.

Ultimately, you can’t completely eliminate all injuries at your warehouse. People make mistakes and unfortunate situations happen.

But you can certainly minimize the risk. And you can avoid the most serious injuries. Safety is an investment well worth the effort!