Posted by Thelma Marshall, VP of Solutions, November 10, 2020.
A safe workplace is something that every single employee is entitled to. In a warehouse or manufacturing facility this can mean constant planning, monitoring and due diligence to ensure risks are mitigated.
A great place to begin is to make it a habit to remind workers of safety issues and potential risks. This simple action should be an ongoing part of any manger’s schedule. Safety reminders are an effective way to combat poor habits and driver complacency, a common problem for those who do repetitive, yet dangerous, tasks throughout their workday.
Here are the basic areas your facility should look to help ensure employee safety is maintained.
Checklists for safety
Maybe the consensus in your facility is that safety checklists are just another nuisance to deal with. But, the fact is that preventive action avoids costly issues and injuries. For example, safety checklists are valuable requirements that protect forklift operators, equipment, and foot traffic in the warehouse. Enforcing them can save money, wasted time and reduce injuries.
This can be done simply and effectively by leveraging a telematic solution to serve as a watchdog. This enforces checklists that require definitive answers to all questions and leave no room for judgement calls. Enforcing checklist can reduce costs and drastically lower the risk of injuries.
Monitoring forklift operator behavior can determine current training needs and reduce the number of impacts, near-misses, injuries and damage to equipment. In fact, a recent case study revealed that as much as 75% of forklift maintenance expenses can be caused by operator error, so improving operator behavior drastically reduces lift truck expenses.
Here’s where to begin:
- Use telematic operator report cards to determine who is performing well, driving recklessly or ignoring safety protocols.
- Use Real-time monitoring to clock speed and sound an alarm for infractions. This can virtually eliminate complacency about speed limits.
Lockout/tag out vehicles
Your software platform should be used to lockout any vehicle when a critical question fails. This is a vital step, since OSHA reports that Lockout/Tagout features prevents about 120 fatalities and about 50,000 injuries each year.
A telematic lockout/tag out function makes vehicles inoperable during safety check questions, repairs, or maintenance. Without a doubt, proper protocol should be a top priority in order to protect forklift operators and workers on the warehouse floor.
Learn from past mistakes
Hindsight is 20/20. Historical data can improve safety in your warehouse. Examining the right data, patterns emerge and simple solutions become obvious — which helps you prevent history from repeating itself.
Everything from routing snafus to last month’s forklift impacts can be used to rethink how we manage things on the warehouse floor.
Getting everyone in your facility thinking about safety measures as a way of life can help avoid most of the accidents that occur in a warehouse environment. Use quality telematic data to back up your reasoning, and employees will see the value in daily, ongoing safety diligence and compliance.