Another year has come to an end, and it is now the perfect time to think about how your plans for 2019. We all make plenty of personal resolutions at this time of year to live a better life over the 12 months ahead, but have you considered doing the same thing for your warehouse? Read on for ideas about how you can make your warehouse operations run more smoothly, safely and cost-effectively.
Clearly, keeping all workers and site visitors safe at work is a facility manager’s top priority and now is a great time to hold a safety audit. Whether you have done this recently or not, take time now to hold a thorough risk assessment and take steps to reduce or remove any hazards. Examples include moving trailing flexes or piles of pallets, Ensuring everywhere is well-lit with working light bulbs, refreshing any painted warning signage around hazard spots, emergency routes and fire exits etc. and installing suitable handrails and protective barriers to help segregate pedestrians and moving vehicles moving around the site. Are your employee training programme and first aid procedures up to date?
Be better organised
No matter how effective you think your organisational methods are, there is always room for improvement. Perhaps you have not carried out a full stock check for a while, or your storage system has become messy through heavy use. Take time over a quieter period at work (if there is such a thing…) to make sure everything is in its place and properly protected through the right asset protection systems. Revise your paperwork procedures too – can you cut out any of the ‘red tape’?
Learn your lines
Line markings around a busy warehouse are crucial for effective, safe operations. So, take a look at yours and make sure you are happy with their layout and that they are clear enough to be seen, even from the cab of a heavy goods vehicle or in the dim, wintery light. Do your car park lines need refreshing or any directional arrows? External lines can be affected by adverse weather conditions, such as rain, frost and snow, so book in time for a winter check-up now, in order to move into spring with fully visible, revised line markings.
Check for damage
Just as with your line markings, checking the whole of your warehouse and its surroundings for damage is a really worthwhile activity at this time of year. As well as weather damage, look for broken machinery and equipment that could cause accidents if left unrepaired. Are you totally happy with your security arrangements, or are there any weak spots that could offer intruders a belated Christmas haul? Are your shelving units still stable and able to bear the weight of their contents, or do you need or reinforce them with any protective barriers or guards?
Invest in people
A company’s most valuable asset is its workforce; it’s time to show them you care. Use the start of a new year to reconnect with your team and make sure that they are happy and thriving in their roles. Does anyone need the training to address weaker areas in their work, or is someone overdue for promotion? Above all, make sure everyone knows how to work safely, especially in the areas of manual handling, working with machinery and handling hazardous materials, such as chemicals. Encourage everyone to report any safety risks they may discover while performing their tasks by introducing an incentive scheme – well worth the financial outlay if you can prevent an injury or improve your warehouse’s performance next year