Dexion Store Offers Expert Advice on Warehouse Best Practice

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Dexion Store, an authorised Dexion shelving and racking provider, issue detailed advice on how businesses can organise and improve warehouse and distribution centres.

‘Be prepared’ isn’t simply the Boy Scouts motto. It should also be central to your warehousing plan. Adopting this simple phrase will enable businesses to plan ahead for any eventuality. Not only could this save time and money, but can also help to prevent accidents.

Adopting warehouse best practice, while preparing for the worst, will help businesses to continue to meet legal responsibilities, protect employee safety, and ensure ongoing smooth operations.

Warehouse Health and Safety - Accident Prevention

In the warehouse environment, health and safety is a primary concern. This is particularly true in the current economic climate, where more businesses are relying on temporary workers.

Safety training has to be a vital part of the recruitment and induction process. New staff need to learn about working safely, and what to do in an emergency, and should be tested on this to ensure their knowledge is up to date.

Having a thorough health and safety policy in place will make it easier to attract the best staff, and will also give businesses an edge when competing for contracts.

With nearly 1000 people injured in accidents in warehouses and storage facilities in the UK in 2010, developing a warehouse health and safety policy, based on industry best practice, could help to reduce this number going forward.

Should an accident occur, businesses must have a process in place to review the situation, learn from it and make sure that the accident cannot happen again.

Best practice should also be in place in matters of personal health and safety. Businesses can take measures to ensure a safe working environment by guaranteeing that warehouse shelving and racking is designed in a way that will prevent back strains and similar injuries. Manual handling and lifting equipment and pallet pull out units can also help ensure stock can be retrieved without straining.

All staff should regularly undergo training to ensure that the entire workforce fully understands all responsibilities with regards to maintaining a healthy and safe workplace environment. Appropriate procedures must also be put in place to allow staff to officially report any unsafe practices taking place.

Warehouse Health and Safety - Incorporating best practice in everyday processes

There are a number of things that can be implemented what will help to bring safety and efficiency into the day-to-day warehouse operations.

Best practice should be worked into everything, from the way warehouse shelving and racking is designed, how walkways are placed, staff training methods and how accidents are recorded and learned from.

For example, regular team meetings can ensure that warehouse best practices in one area can be promoted in other departments. This can also be used to highlight any problems and develop solutions to them.

One of the easiest ways to promote productivity and safety is to focus warehouse best practice around shelving and racking damage.

All staff should be trained on all warehouse shelving and racking systems that are used. This will ensure they can recognise damage and identify potentially dangerous situations.

Any shelving or racking that needs repaired can then be classified and worked on as quickly as possible. This will help promote the safety and efficiency of the warehouse environment.

Regular staff training should be part of the everyday practice. This will ensure that all new starts are taught about any particular issues and that current staff are always familiar with safety practices.

Warehouse Health and Safety – Work Inspections

It is vital that businesses remain legally compliant, and one way to do this is to work regular inspections into company safety practices. The ‘Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations’ of 1992 and the ‘Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations’ (PUWER) of 1998 state that businesses must regularly inspect their equipment.

In warehouses, rack safety inspections should be a regular practice. Businesses should also ensure that the level of inspection matches the circumstances. For example, a written report must be submitted when damaged shelving or racking is found. Regular visual inspections should be carried out and expert inspections should take place at least once a year.

Safety Inspectors should always have the right equipment, be fully qualified and approved by SEMA (the Storage Equipment Manufacturer’ Association). The results of these inspections should be clearly communicated to all staff. This will help promote best practice throughout every department.

Adopting best practice will help keep staff safe, promote efficiency, reduce downtime caused by accidents and ensure that the business is legally compliant, and not subject to fines.

Information from industry experts can help highlight to businesses what works and what does not work. This will make the warehouse safer, more competitive and ultimately more profitable.

The expert safety team at Dexion Store can carry out warehouse inspections to help businesses promote warehouse best practice throughout the company. For more information about warehouse shelving and racking products, safety inspections and warehouse best practice in general visit http://www.dexionstore.co.uk.

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Claire Callaghan
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