Have you done a general inspection of your warehouse lately?
If you haven’t and you’re at a loss for where to begin, it’s generally a good idea to create a warehouse inspection checklist to use on a regular basis. This way, you’ll be prepared is OSHA sends someone out to check your building.
These checklists may vary depending on how your warehouse is set up and what you store there—however, this basic list is one that most warehouse managers can use and to cover the basics of safety and security.
The Loading Area
This is one area where a lot of accidents can happen. It’s very important to make certain any loading area is safe and secure. A few key questions to ask in this area include:
• Are exposed doors roped, chained, or otherwise blocked off so no one falls?
• Are forklift ramps securely attached to the floor or other surface?
• Are your forklift ramps wide enough for the forklift?
• Are all areas accurately marked?
• Do all stairwells have railings?
• Are fixed ladders completely secured to the walls/floor/ceiling?
• Are forklifts regularly inspected before use?
The aisles and storage racks make up most of your warehouse, so it’s important that they are all marked and properly maintained. A few common things to check in this area are:
• Are all aisles marked?
• Are all aisles the proper width?
• Do any products stick out into the aisle? If so, why?
• Are aisles routinely kept clear of clutter?
• Do any electrical cords stretch across aisles or otherwise present a hazard?
• Is the floor smooth and kept clean?
• Are all spills cleaned up within a reasonable time?
• Are the shelves in good condition? If not, are they regularly replaced?
Protecting your warehouse and everything in it is very important. To ensure you do your best to avoid theft, make sure to address the following:
• Is there a live guard on duty 24/7?
• Is the parking lot under video surveillance?
• Is the interior of the warehouse under video surveillance?
• Are there any blind spots where thieves could hide from the cameras?
• Is there some form of entry control such as a passcode or keycards?
• Are all offices locked?
• How many people have keys to sensitive areas? Are all of these keys necessary?
Your workforce needs to be adequately trained before they can work in the warehouse. This training needs to cover more than just their duties, of course. It also needs to cover safety and security measures such as:
• Are employees trained in accident prevention?
• Are employees trained in handling hazardous spills if your warehouse stores chemicals or other hazardous items?
• Are employees trained in the proper way to lift heavy objects and other ergonomic concerns?
• Are employees given suitable rest breaks in an adequate area?
• Do employees know how to work in both hot/humid environments and in cold environments?
Overall Safety Concerns
Every warehouse will have similar general security and safety items. Some of the most common include:
• Is the warehouse adequately lit?
• Is it adequately ventilated?
• Are exit signs lit and equipped with emergency power supplies?
• Does the warehouse include functioning smoke detectors and a functioning sprinkler system?
• Does the warehouse have carbon monoxide detectors?
• Is the noise level within the warehouse at or below acceptable levels?
• Are fire extinguishers readily accessible, inspected, and refilled on a regular basis?
While these checklists may not be all encompassing for every warehouse, they do lend warehouse managers or owners a starting point to ensure safety and security. By checking these inspection points on a regular basis, your warehouse will be ready with warehouse basics whenever OSHA stops by.