Factories and warehouses are notoriously dangerous because workers are exposed to moving machinery, forklifts, and other heavy-duty equipment. Therefore, every factory and warehouse should implement the following four safety tips.
Safety programs and procedures are often forced upon employees by management who mainly are concerned about maintaining quality and productivity. However, management must express genuine concern for the safety and well-being of their crews. They can do this through encouraging employee feedback and acting upon reasonable requests. For example, buying inexpensive mats will prevent slips and reduce the physical burden of standing all day. Management can also obtain employee buy-in through forming an employee-driven safety committee.
Safety walkthroughs are one of the most important ways to identify hazards, solve safety problems, and raise employee awareness. It is well known that employee complacency is one of the biggest creators of safety risks. Safety inspections should involve both employees and management. Ideally, there will be members of HR and maintenance involved. In addition to this, OSHA agencies typically offer free consultations and non-compliance inspections. This means that the state’s safety agency will send a safety inspector to tour the facility and provide feedback without any safety violation citations. Then again, safety inspections are only useful with actionable follow-up plans.
Safety Action Plans
Every safety inspection and safety meeting should result in a detailed action plan with measurable goals. Otherwise, most companies simply talk and debate safety issues without making any real changes. Management should document every issue that is observed during a safety inspection, including poor housekeeping and engineering improvement opportunities. Management should take a picture of any safety issue so that maintenance can identify the area and respond to the problem in a timely manner.
Safety Supervisor Training
Every factory or warehouse should have a safety supervisor. However, sometimes these duties fall to HR or operations supervisors in smaller facilities. Nevertheless, whoever is in charge of facility safety will need formal training. OSHA’s website offers plenty of online resources and information. For instance, they offer online training materials that are designed to help workers recognize and prevent hazards. They also have OTI Education Centers throughout the country. When screening for an open supervisor position, management should consider hiring a supervisor with a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety, which is available from EKU Online.
To recap, basic crucial components of factory and warehouse safety include safety walkthroughs and associated action plans. Employee buy-in and supervisor training also increase facility safety.