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Opening your first warehouse is an exciting time. It’s a sign that you’re successfully growing your business, it’s a sign that you need to scale up your operations, and it’s a sign that you’re soon in the big leagues of business. While the logistics and planning involved with setting up a warehouse can be tiresome, it’s important to understand all of the different components involved in setting up a warehouse and how they link together.
One of the most important factors to keep in mind is safety. Keeping your employees safe is something that all business owners should be thinking about, and in a warehouse environment where everything is moving quickly and there’s a lot of activity, it becomes far more of a concern than your office.
So to help you out, here are a couple of safety tips to practice when you first set up your business warehouse.
Properly Train Your Staff
Don’t expect to just hand a forklift to an employee and expect them to understand how to use it because they’ve worked in construction or a warehouse before. Even if they do know how to use a forklift, you need to train them in how you personally plan to make use of the forklift. Is it going to assist in carrying things when items are too heavy or are you going to focus on using it more often? Forklift accidents are fairly common, with some resulting in fatal losses. They’re often much heavier than cars and unlike regular vehicles, they only have a single set of breaks in the front which makes them hard to stop. Make sure you teach your staff how to operate them properly and ensure your warehouse supports their use. Another place to train your staff is when they’re operating basic machinery or retrieving items from racks. If you see people climbing up instead of using ladders or forklifts, then you need to pull them aside and give them a serious talk.
Carry Out Proper Inspections
This will usually be the job of whoever is operating your warehouse, but it’s important to carry out the correct inspections to ensure everything is operating smoothly and that all safety criteria are met so that you aren’t liable for accidents caused by your neglect. Warehouse racking inspectors are one of the most common services you’ll hire because they can offer a full analysis of your warehouse, its operations and also give suggestions on how to improve the safety aspects. Make sure you book one before you open the warehouse so there’s less chance of accidents happening shortly after you open it up. Inspections are even more important if you’re planning on dealing with hazardous materials or chemicals. Having the right protective measures to keep your staff safe is important, and you need to have routines set up to clear up spills and dispose of used or waste materials.
Setting up your first warehouse is quite the adventure, but it’s going to take a lot of work to make full use of it and ensure that it doesn’t collapse due to neglecting safety.