Building a Safety Culture in Your Warehouse

UNEX carton flow

Based on recent results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Standards, fatal injuries have declined by nearly 25 percent over the past 10 years. Out of 4821 total fatal work injuries in 2014, 94 can be attributed to falls, slips and trips, which took place in warehouses and manufacturing operations.

We’ve talked about using ergonomic practices that limit injuries when moving items in the warehouse. But have you instilled a culture of safety with your workforce? Do they put a high priority on safety? If not, you need to help employees understand that it is critical for them to follow established safety rules and regulations.

Building a Safety Culture

Train employees on each piece of equipment – how to operate it and how to stay safe when using it. At UNEX, we run forklift training at least once a year, and encourage employees who do not operate them regularly to get as much training as possible. This helps employees better understand and respect forklift safety protocols

Ask workers to report others if they see unsafe conditions or activities. Tell workers you want to make sure they get home safely to their family, which is why you have established these procedures. Show them you care about their safety, and they will care about it too.

Regularly train employees, from new hires to long-timers. Keep reminding them of safety issues.

Use graphics and charts, posted in very visible areas, that show number of days without an accident. Create a contest to see which area can go the longest without an accident; incentivize winners.

Make sure equipment is well-maintained, work spaces are clean and warehouse aisles are clear from clutter to keep people from tripping.

According to OSHA, companies must post occupational health and safety program information in a prominent location. Create a safety team that can help uncover safety issues that may exist in the facility.

Encourage employees to be aware of their surroundings at all times and stay alert. Have them wear personal protection equipment when appropriate.

Safety rules and regulations exist to keep your workers safe. Can you think of any other ways to build a safety culture? Share them with us.