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Signet News

How To Set Up A Safe Warehouse

Signet knows the importance and benefits of setting up a safe warehouse and want to help our customers do the same.

Knowing how to set up a safe warehouse has many advantages for a business as it can aid in improving productivity by creating process and workplace efficiency and minimise the risks of accidents.

To make sure that you are setting up a safe and productive workplace read through our "How to Guide" and additional suggestions for the supplies you might need.

Assess your warehouse needs

Before any physical action is taken it is important to consider what types of activities will be taking place such picking, packaging, despatching, receiving or storing items? Regardless of how many purposes your warehouse will serve, thoroughly identifying the various areas will help to create a functional and efficient layout.

The number of employees working in the warehouse is also crucial to consider as this can impact on the quantity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required and facilities such as bathrooms, lockers and recreational areas.

Organise appropriate racking, shelving and storage

Choosing the correct racking should be carefully considered against the types of items that will be stored and factor in:

  • The weight of the items
  • If there will be bulk items or products
  • If cardboard boxes will be required

The chosen solution should be robust to allow for a long life span and be able to effectively stand up to daily wear and tear. Ensure that it is also securely attached to the walls and floors and that there is space for machinery safely to move around to help prevent injury from falling products and damaged goods.

Create a storage area or storage room for regularly used items

This is an important step as regularly used packaging supplies should be easily accessible by all staff.

Some supplies you may want to consider creating a storage space for may include:

  • Packaging tape
  • Packing boxes
  • Void fill materials such as bubble wrap or paper void fill

Create barriers between pedestrians and vehicles both inside and outdoors

This involves eliminating hazards by not allowing the use of any vehicles in pedestrian areas or removing pedestrians from vehicle areas. This can be achieved through a well thought out floor plan where pedestrian and vehicle interaction is minimised and inducting all visitors to the warehouse area.

If the hazard can't be completely eliminated it is important to take steps to minimise the interactions by:

  • Clearly marking walk ways and pedestrian exclusion zones with line markings, signs or physical barriers such as bollards and traffic cones
  • Defining "customer pick up areas" and positioning them so they don't cross driveways or loading dock vehicle paths
  • Minimise cross flow of traffic and intersections and eliminate blind spots were possible by applying visibility mirrors
  • Indicating the distance to a dock for drivers dropping off goods to reduce the need for assisted reversing

Ensure you have the correct PPE and safety equipment in place

Some of the basic PPE and safety equipment should include safety vests, safety boots, high visibility clothing, signage where required and potentially safety glasses, earmuffs or gloves depending on your requirements and the activities taking place in your warehouse.

Organise warehouse facilities and areas

This includes creating clearly marked despatch and receiving areas with large work spaces and staff areas such as bathrooms and recreational areas with seating, tables, fridges and tea and coffee equipment.