One of the last things you want to do is call up a client and tell them that some of their products have been damaged while in your warehouse. Your reputation takes a hit, plus you may have to pay for the products that have been damaged. That’s why many warehouses put their workers through a good amount of training before they actually start moving pallets around.
Unfortunately, accidents still happen no matter how prepared or trained your team is. Here are a few tips for reducing product damage that you may want to implement in your warehouse to supplement training and further protect your warehouse’s reputation, employees, and budget.
Make your Aisles Wide Enough
One issue that forklift drivers may have is that the aisles just aren’t wide enough for them to easily maneuver pallets off of the pallet rack. They may have to back up and turn slightly multiple times to get lined up. If they’re off just slightly, it can cause the load to become unbalanced and fall. Don’t make your aisles just wide enough—give your forklift operators a little extra room.
Make Sure your Ramps are Secure
Another issue forklift drivers may have is hitting an unsecured ramp. The ramp could move, causing the forklift to slip off of it and lose the load. These ramps may be between the dock and a truck or be placed on a drop off. No matter where they are, they need to be secure and capable of handing the heavy load. Cement ramps need to be periodically checked for wear and repaired as needed.
Are your Pallet Racks Secure and Durable?
Pallet racks do wear down over the years. You don’t want to place several pallets of product on one only to discover that it’s not securely set on the floor or that the wear on the upper shelves has left the entire unit shaky and unreliable. Make certain that all of your pallet racks are periodically inspected for security and wear and tear. Older racks should be replaced, while newer racks that are damaged need to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Don’t trust pallet racks to hold heavy cargo if they appear to be rusted, are missing bolts, or aren’t sitting level.
Remember: Safety First
Some products are damaged when employees are placed in unsafe conditions that lead to accidents. Make certain that all employees are trained in safety procedures and that all areas of the warehouse are properly marked for dangers. Many accidents that occur in a warehouse involve forklifts. Make sure forklift operators have the proper training to operate the vehicle, plus make sure everyone else understands how to behave around a forklift. Employees need to be aware of their surroundings at all times, especially when heavy pallets are being moved. Otherwise, not only could products be damaged, but your employees may also be injured or even killed.
Have a Process in Place
Finally, while it may not be a way of reducing product damage, it is a good idea to have a process in place for when damage occurs (and it will). This way, there’s no question as to how your warehouse will handle it and the client.
What other tips do you have for reducing product damage in warehouses? Comment below to join the conversation!