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Posted by Thelma Marshall Director, Product Dec. 26, 2019

What are the greatest risks to safety in your facility, according to the people who deal with the risk each day? Knowing operator safety perception and customizing safety checklists are important steps in evolving and improving standards of safety.

Research shows warehouse safety is driven by many factors, including management credibility, job satisfaction, autonomy, and continuous enforcement of safety protocol and standards.

Companies can obtain the best improvement information from their employees. Asking for their perspectives on safety is an easy way to collect this valuable information. It can help identify the human factors that adversely impact safety at a granular level.

Where risk hides

Forklifts are probably one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment in your facility. Each year, serious injuries from forklifts total 34,900, and more than 61,000 less-serious injuries occur.

So, forklift safety should be a top concern of everyone across the enterprise. Ask for advice and insight from those operating the lift-trucks regarding what they see and experience and can identify where change is needed.

Tracking safety

Tracking the progress of safety initiatives can reduce the risk of injury. These can be tracked by an individual, work cell, or department. Include safety observations, a proactive way where employees can observe and recognize their peers for safe behaviors.  

Next, be certain your operator checklists cover the most pertinent concerns your facility has regarding safe warehouse operations and will also will meet OSHA’s inspection requirements, should an incident occur.

Here are the basics. 
  1. Customize your checklist to address your facility’s risk factors.

Monitor and know your fleet and its operators. Tailor checklists to fit the age of the vehicles as well as what is required of the vehicle during any given shift — long hours, tight turns, slippery surfaces, or temperature changes. Include all safety and operational checks that OSHA would look for following an accident or during an audit.

  1. Require pre-shift inspections for each forklift.

A good telematics system will let you tailor inspection checklists to suit the unique needs of your business. These checklist capabilities let operators easily perform OSHA-required pre-shift inspections, identifying possible safety hazards — even the ones that are specific to your business.

  1. Lock-out/tag-out vehicles that lack completed inspections or have failed an inspection.

Completing safety checklists should be mandatory for a vehicle to be operated. Forklift-monitoring software can be used to prevent vehicle operation if the operator skips steps, the forklift has any mechanical issue, or the driver fails to complete safety protocol. 

Telematics software is instrumental in maintaining a safe working environment and providing advanced insight and easy-to-use, customizable safety checklist features. One-screen access facilitates instant information, so you have the time to ask operators for their safety perception and what they see as a risk.

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