In many of our previous blogs, we’ve discussed the importance of warehouse safety. We believe it’s crucial to take proactive steps to ensure that your employees can stay safe and protected on your warehouse floor.
One of the points we suggest is providing frequent, comprehensive training. But today, we’re taking a closer look about what that entails. What should be included? What points shouldn’t you miss? How can your team benefit from these demonstrations and discussions? Let’s find out.
What Can Be Gained from Safety Training?
Of course, we all know that safety training sessions are necessary to stay compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employee training must be provided for any potential hazards in your warehouse, from forklifts to dangerous chemicals.
But besides meeting OSHA’s standards, these sessions can be a helpful experience for you and your employees. They offer an opportunity for your to expand your employees’ knowledge and skillsets. While it’s essential to cover the basics like slips, trips and falls, these sessions could cover a whole range of topics, such as material handling, forklift safety, winter driving, loading and receiving area safety and more. We also believe additional courses on ergonomic strain are crucial for warehouses, as this is the most common cause of injury for facility employees.
Some safety training programs also reward participants with a certification, which will offer career growth and additional opportunities for your team.
How Often Should You Have Them?
The answer to this question depends on the type of courses or sessions you’re teaching:
- When a new employee starts at your warehouse, they’ll need mandatory training covering your emergency protocols, safety procedures for their specific task, how to use their PPE correctly, your warehouse’s potential hazards and safety communication methods.
- A yearly refresher course on the basics of warehouse safety will not only keep you in good standing with OSHA but will be a helpful review for your employees.
- However, classes on first aid and CPR have definite timelines on when you need to renew your certifications.
- Whenever you introduce new technology or machines into your warehouse, your team will need to host safety training sessions before using them.
- If for some reason, there is an accident or injury that occurs on the floor, it should be addressed quickly in a new training session. By reviewing the factors that led to the accident, you can decrease the likelihood that it will happen again.
When it comes to how often you should be holding these sessions, the most important thing is to make sure you’re following all established OSHA protocols. Outside of that, though, you have the opportunity to offer additional training at will to keep building your team’s skills and make your warehouse a safer place to be.
What Training Should You Offer?
Unfortunately, no one can cram every warehouse safety tip into a 2-hour session. It’s a good idea to focus on specific topics for each training instead of hosting a more generalized one. This way, your employees won’t get overwhelmed jumping from topic to topic and gain more from the experience.
The Basics of Warehouse Safety
This course is both necessary for new hires and a great refresher for current employees. Your fundamental course will cover what all team members need to know about your warehouse set-up and basic guidelines on staying safe on the floor. It should include:
- Your warehouse’s emergency protocol and guidelines.
- What types of hazards your warehouse has (ex. large machinery, harmful chemicals, conveyor belts, metal splashes, etc.)
- An introduction or review of your facility’s storage practices and how to safely interact with them.
- An introduction or review of your warehouse’s main technologies or machines.
- How to identify and handle warehouse hazards (ex. fires, chemical spills, ill-stored products, etc.)
In an ergonomics-focused course, your employees will learn more about taking care of their bodies in a very physically taxing environment and profession. An ergonomics course should cover:
- The foundational principles behind ergonomics.
- How to properly use warehouse equipment and tools.
- How to recognize signs of overuse or strain in yourself.
- How to employ proper lifting techniques in various situations.
- The importance of reporting your injuries or even the beginning signs of strain.
Loading Dock Safety
Loading docks can be quite dangerous, depending on your setup, products being delivered or received, and the amount of space your employees have.
This isn’t a topic you want to gloss over. In 2018, about 6,600 people missed work due to injuries surrounding loading docks, with many accidents going unreported or simply being near misses.
Your loading dock safety course should include:
- The process for loading and unloading products safely.
- How to handle machines used at the loading dock (such as forklifts).
- Basic ergonomics, if your employees are lifting products as they’re delivered or shipped.
- How to keep the dock in good condition.
- What type of safety gear must be worn (and how to wear it!)
Chemical safety is no joke. If your warehouse handles chemicals, you already understand how many additional protocols OSHA requires you to follow.
Even if your warehouse does not specifically handle chemicals as a product, there’s still a chance your employees could come in contact with something harmful. This could be a cleaning solution, a flammable liquid or something potentially poisonous.
Your chemical safety course should cover:
- What types of chemicals, liquids and solutions they should expect to see or handle in your warehouse.
- How to properly and safely use them (ex. Should they be wearing goggles? Close-toed shoes? Gloves?)
- What to do in the event of a spill.
- (If applicable) how to safely handle, transport and store chemical-based products.
While we’re keeping this title broad, your courses shouldn’t be. Machine safety courses should zero in on specific machinery and equipment. This means that yes, you should have individual sessions for forklifts, industrial manipulators, conveyor belts and other large pieces of machinery.
These courses should cover:
- The ins and out of using your particular machine.
- How to notice signs of disrepair or malfunction.
- The limits of your machine (ex. Product weight limits, temperature limits, speed limits, etc.)
- Proper storage for your machine.
- (If applicable) How to maneuver your machine through your warehouse.
- What to do in the case of a malfunction or other emergency.
We Take Safety Seriously
At Dalmec, we’re always thinking of how our products can build safer environments for our customers’ warehouses and employees. Our industrial manipulators have been created to do just that.
Dalmec’s industrial manipulators allow your employees to work smarter, not harder, by taking away unnecessary strain and physical effort. They also streamline your warehouse’s process by making product transportation more manageable.
Our material handlers have a rigid steel arm that can complete complex pneumatic tilts and rotations, allowing them to:
If you have any questions about how industrial manipulators can improve your warehouse’s overall safety, contact Dalmec today. Our team will be happy to discuss your options.