Posted by Thelma Marshall, Product Director, February 13, 2020

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The term “culture of safety” is often used when setting warehouse safety improvement goals. With it, managers strive to create an environment where every worker feels compelled to make safety their top priority.

But, it’s common for workers to focus more on personal productivity than how well they follow safety protocols. This happens even though safety infractions can deeply impact job performance, put lives at risk and bring productivity to a halt.

So, your safety program shouldn’t be an afterthought. OSHA inspectors have a job for a reason. Warehouse safety is every worker’s right.  Beyond protecting employees and your enterprise from the impact of costly injuries and mishaps, increasing safety has proven to deliver ROI and increase productivity.

Even if you can’t change how workers perceive risk, you can create an environment where safe actions and precautions are prioritized.

Change how warehouse safety is perceived

The key behind a culture of safety is that everyone should be encouraged and empowered to make decisions based on facts and whether it’s the right thing to do. Everyone is expected to make safe choices, work hard and go home safe at the end of each shift.

Unfortunately, pressure and stress to do more in less time can push those ideals out the window. With increased production, and sometimes the complacency that comes with busy, repetitive work, it is easy to think of safety restrictions as just one more challenge slowing things down.

The solution is to create a plan that gets everyone across your enterprise thinking about safety differently. Here’s how:

Revise the Safety Policy

Establish that management’s commitment to continually improve safety is a top priority. Use this updated policy to clearly define safety objectives. Ideally there should be a system that facilitates transparency and accountability for how safety is measured and monitored.

Identify & control of areas of risk

To prioritize safety, you need to know when either is being jeopardized by poor planning, routing issues or operator behavior, just for example. Investing in technology that monitors all the moving parts of your organization, with a focus on safety protocol and checklists, can provide the warnings needed to support safe operations and optimum productivity.

Use safety-monitoring software to provide:

1) Operator Report Cards

The provide data on how well an operator or group of operators are performing. Telematic monitoring identifies the “what, when and why” of any safety infraction, and can bring violations to your attention, such as sounding an alarm when the speed of a forklift exceeds the pre-set speed limit.

2) Maintenance Report Cards

This data quantifies how well a forklift, or a group of forklifts, are performing against safety KPIs, if each forklift passed its safety checklist, if repairs are scheduled and completed.

3) Impact Detection

It provides valuable insight on the operator involved in any impact, the forklift involved, and the severity of the accident. All information is documented through the software and vehicle is locked down.

Promote your safety culture

Safety takes priority when training, communication, and numerous other actions remind everyone that it is the company’s top goal. This creates a positive safety culture across all levels of employees.

Everyone has a role in promoting safety. Proper measurement of the current risks, combined with the use of effective technology, can create a strategy that makes warehouse safety a top priority for everyone.

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