An unkempt warehouse is abundant with dangers, but a warehouse racking safety checklist can dramatically reduce those dangers
Warehouses aren’t inherently dangerous, but a warehouse filled with untrained staff who have no system for inspecting racking systems can be a dangerous thing. This is what makes warehouse racking safety checklists so important. A fuller appreciation of that importance can be gained by better understanding the specific dangers they can prevent.
1. Warehouse Racking Safety Checklists Prevent Distractions
Distractions are everywhere at work. Your home life, other members of staff, the things you need to do when work finishes: it’s perfectly natural to be juggling thoughts about all of these things while you’re working. The issue is when these thoughts interfere with something which requires your full attention — and a warehouse racking safety inspection requires your full attention.
Having a warehouse racking safety checklist means that you know exactly what you are doing when you doing it; it allows you to be in the moment.
2. Warehouse Racking Safety Checklists Create Routine
It was Oscar Wilde who said “consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative”. However, when it comes to business, consistency is a wildly underappreciated thing. Breaking new ground and expanding into new areas is great. With regards to safety, though, it’s a lot better to keep things consistent.
When HSE gives its advice on staff-led racking inspections, it doesn’t say “once a week” or “once a month”. Instead, its emphasis is on “regular” racking inspections. There’s good reason for this. Safety is a process which should always be happening. It’s not something you should be “topping up” on if a couple of accidents have happened earlier that week.
A routine for safety ensures that the important work of safety gets done. It means you can resist the temptation to ignore it just because an accident hasn’t happened in a while. You remind yourself that perhaps the reason an accident hasn’t happened is directly due to the routine.
As mentioned above, when inspections are done infrequently, they run the risk of not being done at all. Yet, they also run the risk of being unreliable due to a lack of practice and context.
With regards to practice, quality racking inspections require training — just like anything else. If your staff are to use our warehouse racking inspection checklist, we would only recommend doing so after racking inspection training from a SEMA approved racking inspector. Even then, though, performing racking inspections infrequently means that the knowledge from this training fades away, as it is the regular application of learned knowledge that helps to cement it. With regards to context, your staff can’t know whether a system is acting normally unless they know what normal looks like.
In short, a warehouse without routine is chaotic. Warehouse racking safety checklists prevent that.
3. Warehouse Racking Safety Checklists Stop Laziness
Following on from the last point, lazy staff are rarely intrinsically lazy. More often than not, they are taught to be lazy by a working environment where tasks are not made clear and routine is not expected.
With regards to staff-led racking inspections, performing them with a warehouse racking safety checklist makes the process hard to quantify. A staff member might decide, from a distance, that they have “pretty much” inspected everything because they don’t have anywhere to jot down their observations or what they’ve inspected.
While that extreme case imagines a particularly lazy staff member, it isn’t a stretch to imagine an otherwise reliable staff member missing one or two things because they don’t need to write anything down or refer to anything.
This is a kind of laziness, too, but it’s one which can be easily prevented by giving your staff a checklist to note down what they have and haven’t inspected. A well-made checklist is made specific recommendations for specific parts of a racking system. Asking a staff member to use one while performing their inspection will encourage them to be specific and accurate, too.
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