Britt Miller

Britt Miller

  • Wonolo

Are you looking to increase worker safety in your warehouse?

It’s no secret that the vast majority of worker injuries can be prevented with appropriate safety measures.

But the challenge is more complicated: most worker safety measures involve extensive work, expensive equipment, and more time than you probably have available.

Are there ways to improve worker safety without the cost and time commitment you think you need? The answer is yes! There are plenty of quick hacks you can implement to protect workers and save time.

Here are the best six techniques to get you started.

1. Mark the Floor

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to make improvements in your warehouse safety procedures is to use tape to mark the floor.

There are a few different ways you can do this to increase efficiency and improve worker safety. The first and most important is to denote where workers and forklifts should operate.

Keeping human and machine traffic separate is an effective way to keep tracks separate and help prevent forklift-related injuries.

Source: Cisco Eagle

Another way you can use marking tape on the floor of the warehouse is to designate where specific items, like pallets, equipment, or tools should be placed.

This can help streamline the warehouse workflow as well as ensure that workers follow end-of-day safety procedures.

2. Update the Warehouse Signage

One of the most important forms of communication you use in the warehouse is your signage. Signage allows you to communicate with workers even when a supervisor isn’t immediately present.

Even if you already have signage in place, it can be a good idea to update the messages to include a consistent system. Red, for example, can be used to designate fire safety procedures.

Source: IMPO Magazine

Whatever system you decide on, adding it to the signs you have around your warehouse can improve safety dramatically and improve worker efficiency.

3. Install Guard Rails

Forklifts are a critical part to just about any warehouse, but they must be kept separate from workers to ensure maximum safety.

While tape markings on the floor are a basic way to do this, the most effective method is to erect physical barriers that prevent people and vehicles from colliding.

Source: Cisco Eagle

It can be overwhelming to think of installing barriers at every possible risk area in your warehouse, so start small. Think of the most high-traffic points, and work to install barriers in those locations first.

As you grow more familiar with the process, you can add barriers to other areas and further improve worker safety.

4. Purchase Industrial Mats

Industrial mats are often overlooked, but they can provide numerous benefits to the hiring managers who choose to use them in their warehouses.

In general, there are two types of mats. The first safeguard against static electricity, chemicals, and other harmful substances. These can be helpful for specific areas of your warehouse, but won’t be widely applicable throughout the entire facility.

The second type, used to protect workers from fatigue, is more applicable to the traditional warehouse worker. These mats are slip-resistant and provide relief for workers on their feet for extended periods of time.

Source: Pilgrim Mats

By providing a more secure place for your workers to stand as they work, you can ensure you improve their safety. In addition, you’ll be able to help your workers stay focused for longer with the comfort of the mats.

5. Replace and Improve Lighting

Even the most well-lit facility has room for improvement in the lighting department. Specifically, ensure that you have the brightest lights you can afford with your budget.

Yes, it might be more costly to invest in expensive LED bulbs that provide the most light, but when compared with the $38,000 of direct costs for each injury, brighters bulbs are a steal.

Source: Storage Solutions

If you’d like an even simpler and more cost effective way to reap many of the same benefits of a well-lit warehouse, make a conscious effort to replace lightbulbs whenever they burn out.

It’s amazing how much safer your warehouse can be after replacing the half-dozen burned halogen bulbs that keep the isles dim.

6. Upgrade to Brighter Clothing for Workers

It’s a sobering fact that 20,000 workers are seriously injured in warehouse forklift-related injuries each year in the US.

Source: Storage Solutions

Many of those injuries are entirely preventable using readily available and cost-effective tools.

Since many forklift incidents are due to forklifts hitting workers walking across the warehouse floor, you should upgrade your workers’ clothing to the brightest colors possible.

Thankfully, this isn’t particularly difficult. Ask workers to dress in certain colors or find the brightest option when you’re ordering replacement vests or uniforms, and enjoy the safety results.

How to Improve Productivity and Safety Quickly and Easily

Big change sometimes comes from the smallest places.

If you’re looking to improve worker safety and get more done every day at your warehouse, you need to look at simple ways to improve the workplace.

Instead of focusing only on transformational changes, look for small ways to make life better for you and your team.

Start by communicating important safety information across the warehouse using marking tape, basic signs, and guardrails.

Then ensure worker protection with safety mats, improved lighting, and bright clothing.

Each may seem small, but those small changes add up to a better workplace and safer conditions for everyone.