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An effective safety committee can help eliminate hazards and improve the safety record in the warehouse. The committee should have members from all areas of the business, including management and warehouse workers. The committee must be run as a meeting of equals rather than a top-down initiative if the group is to be successful at eliciting and implementing great ideas. The team should meet relatively frequently and it should be empowered to correct unsafe conditions quickly.
Many insurance providers will conduct a no-charge safety audit of your facility to help identify unsafe conditions. They won’t use this as a reason to raise your rates. In fact, it’s in both your best interests to correct any hazards before accidents occur. If you aren’t comfortable involving your insurance company, you can also hire private consultants or safety engineers who specialize in safety audits.
The American Society of Safety Engineers can help put you in touch with an auditor, and it also has checklists and publications for sale that can help with ideas for safety improvements.
When employees understand the hazards, they are less likely to cut corners that can result in injuries. Make sure you take the time to train people on the proper use of equipment and tools. Don’t forget handling instructions for hazardous materials, and the reasons for safety equipment.
In every warehouse, forklifts move materials and people lift boxes and use tools without incident hundreds of times a day. Rushing or forgetting the basic safety rules often leads to accidents even during familiar activities, so education can help keep workers vigilant.
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