Many business ideas require you to have a warehouse. A simple example is an online retail business. If you sell products, then you need a warehouse to store all of your stock before it’s shipped out. The same goes for other companies as well; if your business means you need to move things from A to B, then you’ll likely need a warehouse for organisation and storage.
Managing a warehouse can throw up lots of different concerns. It’s a lot harder than you think, and you have so many things to think about. We won’t dive too deeply into warehouse management, but we will look at one key area, safety. You must provide a safe working environment for your workforce in the warehouse. If you don’t, then there’s a risk of injuries or accidents happening. This will lead to disruptions in the workplace – and probably a fair few lawsuits!
So, what do you need to be wary of? After looking at the average warehouse, it’s clear there are a few fundamental rules you should follow:
Rule 1: Ensure your employees are properly licenced
Did you know there are certain things your employees can and cannot do in a warehouse? It’s true, they can only operate some types of equipment if they’ve undergone the correct training to get a licence for it.
This includes things like driving forklift trucks, handling & working on an elevated work platform, or operating other machinery. If they’re not licenced, then they run the risk of hurting themselves. Not only that, but you could get into trouble for allowing unlicensed people to operate things they’re not trained to work with!
Rule 2: Always include clear warning signs
Secondly, your warehouse should be full of warning signs and hazard notices. You have to make it clear to everyone where all of the risks lie. If you don’t do this, then they have a case against you if they get hurt.
For example, if you don’t have a warning sign that says ‘Caution: heavy boxes’, and an employee lifts a box and pulls a muscle, then it’s technically your fault. Signs exist for a reason – they let everyone know of any safety concerns, which helps to prevent so many accidents.
Rule 3: Educate everyone on the best practices
Lastly, you need to educate all of your employees on the warehouse’s best practices. What does this mean? Effectively, you tell everyone how the warehouse works. You explain what needs to go where, and so on. With this education, your employees will understand what to do and how to operate while at work.
It limits risks as they won’t have to guess what goes where or how to move things around. When guesswork is involved, accidents are more likely to happen. So, ensure all of your team membersbefore they start work.
If you have a warehouse, you need to make safety a top concern. The last thing you need or want is a warehouse full of accidents and injuries. It reflects terribly on your business, will disrupt productivity, and will mean you have lots of unhappy employees out of work and seeking compensation.