27th Nov, 2020 Read time 3 minutes

How to keep workers away from forklifts and machinery

Warehouse health and safety is very important and is vital for keeping workers safe when they are working on foot and when operating forklifts and machinery. One of the key areas many warehouse health and safety operatives concern themselves with is keeping workers away from forklifts and machinery when they are operational.

In today’s article we have a show you some of the best ways to keep pedestrians and workers away from forklifts and machinery in the warehouse environment. 


1. Develop clear walkways and operating areas

Having clear and designated walkways is very important as it helps to prevent people from walking into unmarked operational areas. Try and make sure the operating areas are clear and separated from pedestrian walkways.

In addition to having these areas marked out, you also need to make sure you have good behavioural safety practices in place that help encourage workers to follow the regulations that you have put in place. 


2. Carry out a detailed risk assessment looking at the risks 

Detailed risk assessments are important when it comes to legal compliance and working out what needs to be done to keep an operation safe from a health and safety perspective. Make sure the risk assessment is conducted and reviewed for learning purposes at suitable intervals. 

When you conduct the risk assessment it is important to focus on several areas including who needs to implement the plans and who the responsible person is. After this make sure everyone is aware of the learnings from the risk assessment and knows the process to follow. 


3. Ensure proper PPE is being worn at all times 

If workers are wearing the proper PPE it will help with keeping them safe if an incident does occur and prevent the chances of them occurring with high-vis clothing and PPE. 

Good PPE will help but you will need to have good behavioural safety practices to ensure the PPE is worn. If workers are part of a culture that prioritises safety they will feel it as part of their duty to wear the right PPE and ensure everyone is protected in the workplace.

Part of good PPE could mean also mandating the wearing of the proper alerting equipment. Lone worker alarms are a good way of providing an extra line of defence when it comes to safeguarding workers who may be performing tasks in isolation.


4. Make sure everyone has the proper health and safety training 

Having the three practices listed above is essential but they will not work in isolation and if you do not have appropriate health and safety training in place many individuals will not take up the practices. Try and make sure everyone has the best base level of training over the basics to at least help in the compliance of the practices and processes that you put in place. 


Minimizing incidents increases profitability, well-being, and productivity 

Whilst it may cost some money to invest in warehouse health and safety, the investment is often well worth it as preventing incidents and accidents in the workplace are often the best way to save money and productivity. If workers feel safe this will also increase well-being and lead to a happier and healthier workforce overall. 

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