It might be a workplace cliché, but it’s true: Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
In warehouse settings, there are plenty of opportunities to ensure workers are safe, just as there are plenty of areas in which failing to pay attention to hazards can cause injury.
A properly trained team of workers can look out for themselves, each other and help your company avoid lost productivity and possible lawsuits due to negligence. It’s important to make sure everyone has access to and completes safety training on a regular basis.
But safety training needs to be effective, not just offered. Here’s how to make sure your workers are properly trained in order to make your warehouse actually safer.
Before anyone else can be trained on safety, the person responsible for training them needs to be fully aware of what potential dangers exist in the building and how they need to be addressed. Become familiar with the large and small risks and the correct way to keep people safe. Make sure the proper containers are available for wet rags, or cloths coated in oil or gas, or other flammable liquids. Make sure caution tape or yellow and black paint is visible in areas where injuries could happen.
Every safety training should include a walk-through of the facility. Point out things that are properly stored and those that are not. Explain the difference. Highlight areas where things might be tossed in a hurry, or areas where the floor might get slippery in bad weather, or if things are done quickly. Clearly describe the best methods for working with various pieces of equipment, so it is understood what is correct and what is not. People might be making unsafe decisions because they simply don’t know the difference.
Brush up on OSHA requirements.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidelines and rules for just about every work environment. Make sure the person giving your workers’ safety training understands the latest requirements and is familiar enough with them to effectively provide up-to-date training, pointing out all hazards, including those that might not be top-of-mind, like sharing passwords or entry codes for secured areas.
Create a safety training program that will resonate with your employees.
If you know your team would learn better sitting down and taking notes, build a system to fit that format. If they’d do better with hands-on explanations and demonstrations, design your training with the warehouse in mind and go step-by-step through the building, with pertinent information at each stop. If a combination of in-person training and reinforcement materials might be best, work with someone to create meaningful handouts for later reference and make sure they’re posted in highly visible areas.
Know how to make sure the training is effective.
Nobody likes a pop quiz — we didn’t as kids, and we sure don’t appreciate them as adults. But when designing your training program, make sure you have a system in place to ensure the training was effective and that your team learned the lessons well. Ask questions from time to time to make sure the information was retained. Track the number of incidents that result in injury after training and see if there were gaps or if people just weren’t paying attention. Take a walk through the building and see if people are cleaning up after themselves, properly using safety equipment, and adhering to best practice advice. If they’re not, call it out and correct it.
Part of this training should include a discussion about the importance of proper safety gear, including steel-toed boots, keeping loose material close to the body and away from machinery, wearing goggles, etc. An informed team is a safe team!
If you’re looking to add new employees before your next safety training, contact Debbie’s Staffing. We have a long list of eligible candidates ready to join a team just like yours. Call Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s get to work.