You ain’t seen nothing yet. No, we’re not talking about B.T.O’s 1974 smash hit in today’s post. That's a phrase we often hear facilities managers use when comparing their employees' track record of protecting warehouse assets. And it never seems to be something good.
If you’ve started to lose faith in your employees' ability to care about the quality of your facility, or if the phrase "I’ve got the worst drivers in the world" hits a little too close to home, we’ve got a few best practices for you to keep in mind. They might not fix everything, but they'll get you on your way to a well- functioning facility.
1. Bad Driving Will Happen; Protect Against It
You’ve got the worst drivers in the world. Well, unfortunately so does everybody. You could hire new drivers, but that’s not a viable long-term solution. You can (and should) offer continued training, but how do you protect your warehouse during that period? Or what happens if your workforce is brand new to the facility?
The answer is asset protection. And you need it right off the bat. The first couple of months in a new facility are when the highest rates of damage will occur. If you have asset protection products in place from the start, your employees and product will remain safe while drivers get familiar with a new layout. We recommend our FlexCore Bollard or Rack End Protector for easy-to-install safety solutions you can count on.
2. Limit Carelessness
Carelessness is bound to happen. People get into the routine of things and all of a sudden your employees aren’t paying as much attention as they were on day one. You need to continually protect employees from the possible catastrophic consequences of being careless. If an I-beam goes down, it’s taking the whole building with it.
Again, appropriately placed asset protection products can help eliminate human error. Realize that your employees will make a mistake every once in a while, but the right protection will prevent a careless error from becoming a major accident. Flexible material handling products will absorb and deflect trouble to keep your facility running smoothly.
3. Leverage New Technology
There are a number of new safety strategies you can leverage to help foster a culture of prevention with your employees. Placing recording technology on each forklift can serve as a constant reminder for employees to keep proper safety protocol in mind and limit carelessness. Similarly, there are monitoring systems you can install that will shut down a piece of equipment after registering a high impact.
4. Leverage Old Strategies
The tried and true methods to keep up the quality of your warehouse are still as applicable as ever. Lockout-tagout programs can ensure dangerous machines remain properly shut down when not in use. If your employees still aren't taking safety precautions seriously, consider using formal warning systems. If one of your employees hits something, they get written up. After a couple of write ups, they get let go. It can seem a bit extreme, but it will surely get everyone's attention.
5. Safety Checks
A monthly refresher can be a great way to keep your employees up to date on the best practices you’ve implemented. Understand that your employees are busy and they may not be able to take a large chunk of time out of their day to devote to a long meeting. Keep each meeting to the point and offer actionable advice for your employees to take away.
A Final Note
Assess the biggest needs and risks of your facility. Prioritize your prevention efforts by considering which aspects of your business absolutely must remain functional at all times. Which equipment failure would shut down your business? Then go through and plan. Follow the best practices we mentioned, budget accordingly and be on your way to a higher functioning facility.