Warehouse Safety in Black Friday-Christmas Rush

It’s Black Friday Week. Which means that we are now in the midst of the busiest retail period of the year. Warehouses will be stacked to the ceiling, picking needs to be at maximum efficiency as demands go through the roof. This is where Warehouse safety is most important.

The run from Black Friday to Christmas time is often the busiest period of the year for many warehouses across the world. The sheer scale of operations involved in many warehouses make it a pressured environment where the emphasis is on delivering goods rapidly. It’s in this situation that safety easily gets overlooked.

Busier Times lead to Warehouse Accidents

Warehouse accidents are all too common on any normal day of the year. With increased activity and more personnel, especially the influx of temporary shift workers, on the warehouse floor, allied with the pressure to get goods out of the door on time, the chances of accidents becomes greatly increased.

Traffic in any warehouse needs to be carefully monitored, but with the increase of both pedestrian and forklift leads to an increased chance of collisions. This is also greatly increased when workers have limited knowledge of the warehouse set-up and safety rules.

It has become very common for all retail warehouse environments to take on large numbers of temporary workers for this season. Time pressure, and business needs, often lead to workers being given minimal training and safety advice before being let loose on the warehouse floor. Without the right training and knowledge in place, collisions will take place.

With the busy Christmas period, longer shifts and overtime are an offer for workers. However, these can lead to fatigue, stress and lack of concentration.

All of this can soon become the perfect mix for a heightened probability of a dangerous, business crippling accident.

Safety Checks Gain Increased Importance with Increased Warehouse Activity

The need for regular safety checks becomes ever more essential during this time of year. Pre-shift team talks can really help to remind warehouse workers of the rules, and particularly reminding temporary workers of the restricted areas for pedestrians.

Pre-shift meetings also allow those workers who are finishing their shift to provide important information to their replacements during the hand-over.

Unfortunately, it’s in the busiest periods, such as now, that shift hand-overs often fall by the wayside. The pressure to keep orders going out and the desire from workers to get home after a long shift days mean that keeping up the basic safety procedures becomes more and more difficult.

Reporting Collisions Decreases

Alongside hand-overs, equipment checks also take on increased importance. With more lift trucks and the urgency for faster deliveries and longer hours, there is increased likelihood of forklift collisions with pallet racking uprights.

Additionally, when FLT operators are working in a busy environment there is a great temptation not to report collisions when they do occur. What may seem like a gentle scrape to the driver hardly seems worthy of reporting or putting his neck on the line.

Add to this the fact that it is usually the policy in many warehouses to quarantine a picking area after there has been a collision, and there is also a temptation for busy warehouse managers not to take action even when there has been a collision, for fear of not hitting delivery targets.

However, the reality is that racking uprights can often be weakened after even minor collisions. With racking fully ladened to satisfy the Christmas demand, a racking collapse would be devastating – not only in terms of damaged goods, possible safety issues around nearby workers, but also in downtime and the resulting loss of goodwill from disappointed customers.

Keep Checks Going even in the Busiest Periods

Routine visual checks of forklifts and racking at the start of each shift can help to identify faults before they develop into a costly accident.

At Monarch we specialise in helping warehouses maintain a safe working environment by using the right equipment and regularly checking that the equipment is safe to work around.

 

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Monarch Shelving Ltd
Unit F,Daltry Street, Oldham, Lancashire, United KingdomOL1 4AB
Tel: 0161 627 3444 or 0161 622 0022 | Fax: 01706 880520