If you’ve ever had children, you understand the latent danger of Legos strewn about a living room floor or a plastic stegosaurus just waiting for a wayward bare foot to find them. Safety suffers when thing are where they do not belong or when they are stored in inadequate locations, be it a living room or warehouse. One of the easiest ways to create a safer warehouse environment for MHE operations is to be sure that the warehouse layout is conducive to productivity, standardization, and efficiency.
- Use The Entire Space: Warehouses are like a home – you want to make the best use of every inch of space that you have. Consider installing mezzanines, for example, if you have high ceilings.
- Create Expectations of Standardization: Make sure all equipment has its own clearly marked location, including forklift truck parking and battery charging stations.
- Utilize Signage: Another way to create standardization is use of signs. Coordinating sign colors and shapes, just like traffic signs, will also help workers and guests easily understand the risks, uniform needs, or other expectations of different areas throughout the warehouse.
- Have a Large Receiving Area: The heart of a warehouse is receiving. It’s imperative that your operation has enough space for all activities that take place in receiving be performed safely and efficiently. A small or too-tight receiving area is just asking for pedestrian and truck accidents or for incoming stock to be damaged.
- Separate Parts of the Warehouse: This is both a safety and efficiency concept – make sure that different parts of the warehouse are segmented and their boundaries are clearly marked. This will keep returned stock, for instance, from being mistaken for incoming inventory. This will also help avoid accidents or spills or cross contamination within the warehouse.
- Smart Inventory: Most accidents happen when someone or something is on the move, right? Design your warehouse so that inventory only needs to be moved once – or at least as rarely as possible – and you avoid dozens of potential accidents by doing absolutely nothing.
- Clearly Mark Traffic Patterns: Since workers don’t always hear or take heed of truck reverse warning sounds, and since operators sometimes forget to check their mirrors or can’t always see around the corner, have clearly marked pedestrian and truck traffic patterns.
- Enforce Those Patterns: Unless markings are enforced, they are useless. Be sure to train workers and operators to respect and abide by signage and traffic markings.
These are just a few ideas to help managers design and operate their warehouses at higher levels of safety and efficiency. If you found this information helpful and would like assistance creating a more efficient workplace, or you just have questions, feel free to call HCO Innovations at 888-755-9566 or contact us through our website.