Running a warehouse takes a lot of know-how and in-depth planning. Every single detail can either make a profit or cost you profit. There are so many choices and decisions to make that it is almost impossible to keep up with everything. This is only on the planning side as well. It is easy to lose potential profit on daily functions if everything does not go well. That is why it is so important that you maintain a proper workspace in your warehouse, so that everything can flow smoothly and employees are kept safe. The best place to start is by following these tips for effective warehouse housekeeping.
Floors are a dangerous area in any high traffic space. Slipping and tripping is a common reason for injury at the workplace. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce this risk. The first is to make sure that your floor is the proper material to handle your specific workload. It is also important that you keep your floors clean and dry whenever they are in use. Hallways and walkways should be kept open and clear of any obstacles. You will also need drainage for any area that has liquids near it.
As a major risk for any workplace, you and your workers should handle any combustible material with care. Follow all the recommendations that come with any flammable material. You need to be careful of any ignition sources, such as an outlet or heater, and ensure that nothing flammable is near them. Get designated areas that you can store combustible materials in and make sure that everyone is constantly on the lookout for any dangerous situations.
Watch for Dust
Many people do not think about it, but dust can build up anywhere and is extremely dangerous in large quantities. Dust explosions are not a joke, and they can occur when you least expect it. That is why it is so important that you head them off before they become a risk. The best way to avoid any problems with dust is to use vacuums and wet washing methods to clean up. This is the only way to prevent dust buildup from occurring in the first place. Clean every surface you can routinely, any surface you cannot reach can be cleaned with compressed air.
Clutter is a horrible waste of space and gets in everyone’s way. Clutter is not an easy term to define, but anything that is in the way is a good definition. This can include things cluttering some desks, or boxes that block a hallway. It includes any poorly planned storage that limits the movement of people and materials. This clutter slows down your entire operation and can cost you a lot of money over time. You need to make sure that everything has its place and that there is enough room for everyone to maneuver without restraint.
Work With Clean Areas
There are plenty of processes in a warehouse that might leave a mess. It is important that you clean up these messes before starting a new project or process in the same area. This helps to prevent clutter from slowing down the work. More importantly, it prevents possible cross-contamination and bigger messes. When someone reuses an area that is not clean, it can compromise the new task or at least slow it down. Sticky or wet areas can greatly impact a worker’s ability to do their job and can even destroy whatever task they were setting out to accomplish.
Another area where plenty of warehouses waste resources is in the storage of items. There are dozens of different styles of material storage racks and storage systems, each one meant to hold different products and goods. However, many people do not use these systems to their fullest potential. Once you finish the planning stage and you have a layout that works for you, you need to make sure that you keep it clean and stocked properly. Using a storage system to hold the wrong product leads to confusion and wasted space. It is a good idea to have everyone check the storage often to keep it consistent and ensure that everyone knows the system.
Racking is important for every warehouse and should be a major focus. However, this means that they see a lot of wear throughout the year. That is why it is so important that people are doing routine inspections of all the storage areas and racking systems. Otherwise, damaged systems might be overlooked and eventually fail. These failures can cause injury to workers and damage to products, and that is why it is so vital that you inspect your racking often.
Personal Protective Equipment
A warehouse can have a lot of dangerous equipment and heavy products. It is best if everyone that comes near any of this equipment of product is using PPE. This equipment is meant to help protect them in case of any bad situation, like a fall or spill. The one problem is that PPE can slowly wear down as well, meaning you have to do regular maintenance to make sure it all functions as it should. You do not want any injuries to occur because a helmet or glove had worn down over time.
Watch High-Traffic Areas
Every tip we’ve mentioned so far is twice as important when it comes to high-traffic areas. If people use an area more often, it will have more problems and be at a bigger risk. Therefore, it is important that you identify these high-traffic locations and keep a close eye on them. Do everything you can to keep these areas clean and inspect them often for damage. You will notice that more incidents occur in these areas and they wear down more quickly. So, perform frequent maintenance and inspections on these areas in particular.
These tips for effective warehouse housekeeping should help you keep your workers safe and promote efficiency. A clean area that workers can be safe in will help to facilitate good work. Ask your workers for their knowledge as well, as they will know the problem areas of the warehouse.