No matter the inventory within, safety is paramount to every warehouse. Keeping our warehouse employees safe is a fiduciary, ethical, moral, and legal obligation that all managers take seriously. As new situations emerge in the logistics sector, new safety considerations emerge as well. We also take closer looks at how we can build upon existing protocols. Today, we’ll share five tips to keep your warehouse employees safe in 2021 and beyond, as advances in technology and changes in the way we live dictate revisiting this chief concern of the warehouse industry.

Climate-Controlled Premises

In the summer months and year-round warm climates, daily activity, urgent operational procedures, and increased production can raise the mercury. Allowing temperatures to climb to dangerous levels can jeopardize the safety of your workforce, who can suffer from exhaustion and dehydration as they struggle against tough indoor conditions. Frequent HVAC checks and preventive maintenance schedules will go a long way. Should a hot temperature condition arise in your warehouse, ensure your employees have access to fresh water and schedule water breaks during the shift. If the cold temperature is part of the working environment or there’s an issue with the heating system, ensure your employees have the appropriate outerwear and gear to stay warm. Be careful that long sleeves don’t get caught in machinery. A well-functioning HVAC system is a necessary component of any warehouse for comfort and eventual labor-safety concerns.

Keep Infection Prevention in Mind

Warehouses are essential. Even as COVID-19 cases wax and wane, America’s distribution centers must remain fully functional. In fact, keeping warehouses functioning is now more important than ever. Keeping employees furnished with PPE, hand sanitizer, and other safety measures against viruses will help maintain a healthy workforce at a time when sick days pose a serious challenge. Physical distancing protocols concerning high-traffic areas of the warehouse can also help to keep employees healthy. Consider separation equipment, like station partitions throughout the warehouse or entry cages to ensure safe distances and controlled entry are in place.

Eliminate Sprinkler Head Damage

Damage to a sprinkler system is costly, messy, and creates an environment for injury. Collisions with sprinkler heads can trigger tremendous water output. In turn, wet floors are hazardous to employees—a liability you don’t want to deal with. The heavy-duty fire sprinkler head guards from RMH Systems’ K3 Safety line of products prevent catastrophic sprinkler misfires, protecting racking systems, inventory, and your employees.

Increase Automation

Millions of accidents involving forklifts and pick operations occur every year. One of our five tips to keep your employees safe is to minimize the potential for those accidents. One way to reduce the risk of accidents is to automate processes that include storing and retrieving heavy inventory or picking inventory stored from higher storage bays. With fewer instances of manual operation, you can create a safer working environment at your distribution center—again, at a time when you can ill afford to work shorthanded.

Frequent Safety Seminars

With the introduction of new equipment to the warehouse comes new safety protocols for workers to familiarize themselves with. Make sure that any modernizations come with instructional sessions to keep your workforce up to speed. In fact, even workers who pride themselves on having internalized all the relevant safety measures may need an occasional refresher more than they realize. As a rule, keep all safety protocols posted in areas frequented by employees and in other high-traffic areas such as the cafeteria, break rooms, and restrooms.