How Does Warehouse Organization Affect Safety?
The way a warehouse is organized can be a major determinant to its safety. Poorly organized items, narrow walkways and stray power cords have the potential to wreak havoc on this working space. At Greystone, we supply a number of products that are designed to help keep your work space safe and organized, but sometimes efficiency and safety is driven by your workers.
Here’s how to keep your warehouse organized, clean, efficient and safe.
There is no doubt that storing an abundance of items in a warehouse with a limited amount of space can be a challenge.
However, stacking items atop one another so they reach to the ceiling is not the answer. Do not force your employees to store items at extreme heights. Placing the items in such awkward spaces and subsequently retrieving them is not only a hassle, it is also extremely unsafe.
Installing pallet racks and wire shelving will ensure items are kept at a reasonable height. In general, shoulder height is optimal. Spread out your inventory across the entirety of your warehouse in such a manner and you will greatly reduce the odds of an employee injury. Employees will be able to easily reach items without compromising their posture.
Eliminate Cluttered Aisles
The way your warehouse aisles are organized and maintained makes a meaningful difference in employee safety. Even a seemingly minor mess has the potential cause harm to warehouse workers. Make sure each frequently-traveled section of your warehouse is completely clear of clutter. Add shelving to store sundries so they do not spill over into the aisles and impede employees’ walking paths. It is especially important to keep walkways to exits, entrances and fire escapes clear of obstruction.
Consider 5S Methodology
The Japanese developed a highly effective strategy known as 5s to improve organization within the workplace. The five components of the methodology are:
- Sort (seiri) —
- Set in order (seiton)
- Shine (seiso)
- Standardize (seiketsu)
- Sustain (shitsuke).
Implement these organizational strategies and your warehouse will prove much safer. Sorting involves evaluating inventory to identify items that are unnecessary. Clear out useless items free up space and remove obstructions. Then set the remaining useful items in order.
The “shine” element is a deep clean of the warehouse to reduce safety hazards like cluttered walkways, standing water and even dust collection. Standardize refers to setting exacting standards for employees to adhere to safety protocols. Sustaining means ensuring your warehouse stays clean, organized and safe.
Stack with Care
Just about every warehouse makes use of vertical storage to an extent. There is nothing wrong with this storage method unless the stacks get too high. An overly tall stack might be unbalanced and eventually topple to the floor. If the stack is tall enough, it could hinder the functionality of sprinklers in the event of a fire. Stacked items should be limited to a height that your staff can access with ease.
Keep Those Cords Organized
Wires and cords that are allowed to jut out into warehouse walkways or other areas will eventually cause an employee to trip. Furthermore, such wires and cords are fire hazards. If you absolutely need to use extension cords, make sure they are far away from employee walking paths, and try to keep cords off the floor.
Greystone Equipment has the Warehouse Equipment You Need
If you own or manage a warehouse, you can make it much more efficient and safe by tapping into the power of Greystone Equipment’s solutions. We make pallet racks, wire shelving, wire decks and an array of other organization equipment for warehouses of all varieties. Whether you are considering installing pallet racks, wire shelving or another warehouse feature, we encourage you to reach out to us today to learn more about our solutions.