The success of your warehouse management system relies on many elements including leadership, management software, architecture, layout, and lighting. Luckily many of these factors can be influenced by making a few environmental changes within your warehouse to increase productivity, prevent accidents, and lower associated worker compensation costs.
- Outer appearance of building:
The outer appearance of your warehouse will directly affect the amount of petty and major crime that occurs in the area. Leaving graffiti and broken windows untended can make the area more attractive to criminals because it gives the impression that you’re not around often enough to interfere with a robbery. Improving the outer appearance of your warehouse will not only prevent theft of your stock, but will also reduce the danger to your workers making them happier and more productive. Clean up the façade of your warehouse and install overnight lighting to discourage unsavory types from loitering on your property.
- Prioritized stock:
Items that sell quickly should be easily accessible and located nearest to the shipping area. This will reduce the picking time for workers and prevent them from tiring as quickly. The less distance they travel, the less tired they will become and the fewer mistakes and accidents which will occur.
- Designated forklift operators:
Thousands of injuries occur each year due to unsafe forklift operation. There are two main ways to prevent this from happening in your warehouse: either train all of your staff, or designate only a few staff members to operate the forklifts and ensure they receive thorough training. The latter is obviously easier to accomplish and is also better for the safety of your workers. It’s easier to train and certify a dedicated staff to perform their tasks safely through specialized and repeated training. The more time they put into practicing their skills, the safer the execution of their tasks and the fewer accidents which will occur. The more potential drivers you have, the higher the risk for mistakes or accidents to be made.
- Raised inventory:
Lifting items off the ground or from shelves above shoulder level is hard work that can lead to tired muscles, strains, and dropped inventory. Instead of storing items on the floor, raise them up as soon as they hit your warehouse and store them on extended pallets. Studies have shown that they best range for inventory is 2-5 feet off the ground. Anything above shoulder height should only be accessed with the use of a forklift in order to further prevent injury.
- Adequate lighting:
Large warehouses often have dim areas due to insufficient lighting. This makes it difficult to read labels and see hazards, and can increase the dangers to your staff. Adequate illumination will help you avoid accidents and lost time, as well as keeping your employees happier. If the ceiling is too high, lower the lighting with a customized system to ensure your employees can see what they are doing with ease.