In any warehouse, the safe operation of materials handling equipment is essential to the daily running of the warehouse and completion of tasks. Equipment failures or improperly trained staff will not only lead to costs in productivity, but could also result in employee injury which could be financially detrimental in the long run. Here are some tips for staying safe around materials handling equipment.
Thoroughly Inspect Equipment & Report Faults Immediately
Whether you’re using older materials handling equipment or have hired a brand new equipment rental, conducting a thorough inspection before use is absolutely essential prior to operation. This is the only way you can ensure the equipment is in suitable condition for the tasks you intend to complete and also allows you to become aware of any faults or damage affecting the equipment which could compromise your safety and the safety of others during use. You should always report faults immediately to your superior and ensure the information is logged somewhere that’s easily accessible.
Ensure You Hold an Appropriate License for Operating Equipment
Some materials handling equipment requires the operator to possess a specific license in order to legally use the equipment. A license to operate specialised equipment means you understand how to control the equipment safely and know what to do in an emergency situation, such as knowing where emergency shutoff buttons are located.
You should never operate equipment that you either don’t hold a current license for or haven’t been trained properly on its safe use. In the event that something goes wrong, both you and your employer could be liable to cover the costs of any damages or employee injury that occurs as a result of your operation of equipment without being competent.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings at All Times
Whether you’re operating materials handling equipment or you’re working close to it, it’s important that you stay alert and are aware of your surroundings at all times. Making sure you maintain the required distance away from machinery such as forklifts and other equipment will help make the workplace safer for everyone.
An unfortunate fact of using materials handling equipment in any setting is that accidents and equipment faults will inevitably happen from time to time. However, if all employees remain vigilant, the potential damage and costs can be drastically reduced.
Assess What You’re Loading
If you’re working in a fast-paced environment, it can become easy to get caught up in the frantic pace and accidentally overload your pallet cage or hand pallet truck. The obvious consequence of this is that you’ll likely damage the equipment, making the job take longer, but you could also cause injury to yourself or others.
Always ensure that the load is appropriate for the materials handling equipment you’re using, and notify your superiors when loads at unsafe levels are attempting to be moved. It’s always better to divide loads into multiple shifts for the sake of efficiency rather than try to overload equipment to achieve a faster result.