Winter can be an extremely busy season for materials-handling workplaces, warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing floors. But while this season is usually packed with bustle and activity, it can also be a very dangerous time for workers and an expensive, anxiety-inducing time for employers. While you process a huge influx of orders and keep your organization moving at top speed, be careful. One unfortunate slip can ruin the season for you, your employees, and their families, so keep these tips in mind.
- Recognize the impact of an accelerated pace.
Faster motion on the floor means a high incidence of corner cutting when it comes to safety. It also means a high potential for accidents, and some of these accidents happen at higher speeds, which can cause more damage. Now is NOT the time to look for shortcuts, and preflight forklift safety and operations inspections are more important than ever. Don’t let your employees get hurt because of one defective traffic signal.
- Keep floors clean and dry.
Indoor and outdoor workplaces both have special floor requirements during cold weather. Indoor floors need to be kept dry at all times, and outdoor floors need special attention in order to stay ice-free. Monitor floor and ground conditions constantly, and if you use outside vendors to do this, reexamine your contracts every year.
- Documentation is key.
If lift trucks, batteries, or fuel containers experience problems during this busy season, make sure those problems are documented properly and fixed before damaged equipment is returned to circulation. Too often, documentation, maintenance and repairs slip through the cracks when deadlines tighten and shifts get longer.
- Don’t overload.
During peak periods of fast activity, the temptation to overload equipment can become very strong. Never let your employees push manufacturer recommendations on speed, loads, or other limitations for lift trucks and overhead cranes.
- Monitor fatigue.
Long shifts and overtime hours are common during periods of high demand, but don’t let your employees work without breaks, and closely monitor them for signs of illness, exhaustion, cold stress, heat stress, and other concerns that may increase the risk of mistakes and falls.
For more on how to keep your workers safe and productive during the busiest season of the year, contact the materials handling and training experts at Liftow.