When it comes to operating machinery and movement of men and goods, safety is of prime importance. Employee safety is frequently disregarded in workplaces due to lack of priority & saving of costs which is often under the guise of efficiency. However, implementation of safety procedures in Warehousing, Factory or Manufacturing Industry has multiple benefits such as higher employee work satisfaction, employee retention and majorly increased productivity. By minimizing the risk of injuries and damage, disruptions, absenteeism and machinery downtime are minimized as well. The initial capital costs do pay off very well in the medium and long terms.
The following Safety measures are important for Warehousing, Factory or Manufacturing Industry:
1. 100% compliance to the use of Safety Equipment – Appropriate eyewear, uniforms, jackets and helmets worn wherever required.
2. Emergency exits should be marked well and clear and there should be no obstacles enroute.
3. Fire safety Hydrants and sprinklers installed in the roof or otherwise should be accessible and shall not be blocked. Fire safety is most important and the use of extinguishers, hydrants, sprinklers, safety doors etc are needed for safety specially in Warehousing Industry.
4. Floors should be ‘slip and trip’ free to ensure easy movement of men and material. The floor should be free of cords, liquids and any other items. For a perfect Warehousing space, the flooring should have no cracks or pits and the joints should be neatly patched.
5. Hazardous Zones in Factories should be labelled neatly and clearly and dangerous equipment should be stored away in an area that is not frequented by men and machinery. Similar holds true for Warehousing.
6. Walkways should have necessary signage. The easiest way to illuminate hazardous zones is by using tape or painting black and white stripes on the floor of the designated area. This enables employees to be aware of dangerous surroundings and can be useful in avoiding accidents that can cause serious injury.
7. Warehousing and Factories should always Use Safe techniques for Lifting and Moving – assess and prepare for lifting, ensure that no obstacles are in the way and ensure there is enough space for the load at its destination. The load should not obstruct the view of the lifter. It is important to follow the operating procedures and it is preferable to push rather than pull so as to have a clear view in the direction of movement. It is good to lean in the direction that is being travelled and drive a forklift or any other powered equipment with proper training as per the manuals.
8. Training and Refresher Courses are essential so that staff are educated and up to date with knowledge and are frequently reminded about safe practices. The staff should be fully aware of the consequences of an unsafe workplace environment. Accidents when the focus is to increase efficiency to save time.
9. Insurance policies and first aid kits should be accessible and mandatory and nearby the work environment. A rest place for injured workmen should be well lit and clean and adequately stocked to enable immediate aid to injured workers. Doctors and Ambulances on call should be available and researched in advance.
10. Awareness and alertness can help save damage and lives. Communication between staff members by being vocal and can alert man and machine in movement by warning on location and impediments. All staff members should be encouraged to be alert and stay away from pathways and be aware of what is happening around them and to communicate where they are.
Whether it is for factory, warehousing or any industrial real estate property- Safety and precautions come first.
The author Amit Damodar, MRICS is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors with over 15 years of experience in the Real estate sector with proven capabilities in Land acquisition and Industrial leasing under the brands of Chattels Realty and AllWarehouses.in.