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Essential Tools For Traffic Safety In Warehouses

  • Published: February 27, 2023

  • Updated: February 27, 2023

Safety is a very important tool in keeping employees and contractors safe in our warehouses and keeping them acting in a responsible manner with all traffic safety measures in place to protect the workers.  

Common checklist items include various items of safety equipment such as handrails, bollards, safety mirrors and strapping tools to name a few.  It is essential to note that there are steps to be taken that will greatly reduce the risk of injury in workplace warehouses.  These areas can be very dangerous if employers are negligent of the need for safety tools around the working areas. 

The following are some of the essential tools that are required to give the employees or staff operating in these areas a pleasant working environment.

Barrier Rails are needed irrespective of the size of the warehouse as these are safety tools that prevent damage and protect equipment and structures from damage that can be caused by forklifts moving around the warehouse area.   Pedestrians greatly benefit from these barrier rails as well as the area is made safer with workers having rails to safely guide them through the entrance and exit areas of warehouses and factory floors.  

Handrails are safety tools that help to prevent falls on mezzanine floors or overhead walkways that have significant drops to the levels below.  These handrails are an essential tool for keeping the workers safe when moving about in these areas of the warehouse.

Bollards serve as a visual warning to forklift drivers and can serve a similar purpose to barrier rails as they protect valuable machinery and equipment from wayward vehicles and also they are handy tools for keeping pedestrians separated from buildings or work areas.  No employer wants to see their shop or building front damaged by wayward vehicles or intentional rams into glass fronts so the steel galvanised bollards are tools that save this on shop frontages and they also mark out specific areas to define vehicle and pedestrian accesses.  The flexible bollard is an ideal safety tool where there are tight parking spaces like underground parking areas and their bright red finish with reflective tape gives them maximum visibility and will not damage vehicles when hit.  

Safety Mirrors are an extremely important tool in busy warehouse sites to ensure clear visibility in areas of high traffic and these convex mirrors come in various sizes to make viewing around corners and hard to see areas much easier when movement in these warehouse or showroom areas are hampered by blind corners and areas that are not easily visible.  Keep an eye on those shoplifters with the convex indoor mirrors placed at strategic angles so staff are able to watch their whole floor area and see the movements of light fingered shoppers.  Great tool to catch those thieves and keep your stock safe and ready for an honest sale.

Another safety tool for the warehouse is the Corner Protectors as they save damage and injury from vehicles and forklifts running into columns or corners of buildings as even though machinery operators are fully trained in these areas, accidents can still happen in the warehouse and factory sites.  Their strong rubber build gives concrete corners and pillars great protection from these hits and saves the expense of having to repair concrete pillars and building areas.

It might seem obvious that wheel chocks are required to prevent trucks reversing too far or rolling back into dangerous situations, but these traffic safety tools can often be forgotten when drivers are reversing, stopping and exiting their vehicles.   It only takes a few minutes for the drivers to exit their vehicles and place these wheel chooks behind the wheel and saves the danger of trucks rolling back into areas where there may be pedestrians or other employees working to unload trucks or vans.  These wheel chocks are even used as a safety measure for trailers and construction vehicles.

Workplace safety standards have been set out for many years and warehouse operators should be made fully aware of these standards when utilising equipment and various machinery and tools around the warehouse areas.  Workplace injuries are something none of us want to hear about so keeping our employees aware of the importance of having any of these traffic safety tools that are available in the workplace or warehouse is essential to the wellbeing and peace of mind of all concerned.

Forklifts are an essential part of the warehouse operations so any person working around or on this type of machinery should be aware of where they need to be and how the forklifts need to be left when unattended.

Another important tool in the warehouse is a fire extinguisher where any hazardous materials are present.  The hazardous materials should be stored in flammable storage metal cabinets and a fire extinguisher needs to be within close reach of these materials.

Dock bumpers are a safety tool that is highly recommended, even though perhaps not an essential tool in the warehouse.  They prevent structural damage and work as an excellent guiding tool for trucks backing up to delivery areas.  Loading dock safety can also be enhanced with the use of the wheel chocks, as this tool is especially useful if there is a slight gradient in the loading area.

Also, an essential safety tool in the warehouse is a cable protector or cable protectors with multiple channels for running cords around the floor area.  Cables and cords are a tripping hazard and should always be covered with the cable protector safety tool.  Aisles and walkways should not have cords and cables lying across them as this sort of obstruction is an obvious danger to workers moving quickly around the warehouse and factory areas and will jeopardise the safety of the warehouse area and could sometimes cause serious injury if employees fall and break bones and this in turn creates downtime in the warehouse area with staff having to be off work for a time while injuries are healing.

Areas in the warehouse need to be clearly marked off with some of the essential tools provided for the working areas.  Barriers and bollards are warnings for pedestrians and vehicle traffic as they generally will clearly mark the areas that define pedestrians from moving vehicles.  Safety tools of this nature are essential to be placed in this type of area in and around the warehouse and any other areas where people need to be kept safe from moving machinery.

So why should companies need to be so focused on areas of traffic safety in their working and warehouse areas?   The answer is obvious - no one wants to witness an injury caused by some area of the warehouse being neglected from a lack of traffic safety tools and equipment.

All the above items are really essential tools to keep the work spaces and warehouse areas safe and free from unnecessary injury.  Some areas are especially vulnerable at our workplaces as there are often delivery trucks moving in and out and forklifts, conveyors and docks being used on a regular basis to assist with the everyday operations of the business.  Traffic safety in these areas would include workers and visitors or customers entering and exiting the warehouse areas so it is essential to do all we can to ensure there are no collisions or accident prone areas.  Regular housekeeping to ensure all these areas are equipped with the necessary and often essential safety tools is vital to a safe and happy working environment for our staff.

These tools are generally very easy to install with minimal outside help and most tradesmen are capable of fixing these items easily in the workplace and warehouse areas.  It is important for employers to assess the risk areas and ensure they have all safety tools in place to prevent injury or even death in the working areas.  

Appropriate safety signage and clear definition in areas where there may be dangers are important tools to have in place, perhaps to direct traffic or define dangerous areas, particularly where forklifts are in operations or pedestrians or staff may have to walk through, these areas need all the necessary safety tools for people to move freely about without the worry of accident or injury.  Once staff are fully trained in the safety procedures things are able to run smoothly and without injury or other safety issues.

Good communication as to the necessity of safety in the workplace and warehouse areas is essential and needs to be regularly gone over with staff that will be working in and around these areas.  This safety training also improves efficiency and productivity and in the long term will help to reduce liability claims and the stress to workers and employers that goes with these injuries and workplace downtime.

Traffic safety tools in the workplace and warehouse areas should be of paramount importance to all that are working in these areas.  Nobody wants to witness an injury or have a workmate suffer from negligence in any of these areas.

It is a good idea to have a set of rules in place that address the hazards of traffic safety in warehouses that would be available for all staff to have access to.  The necessity of bollards, guard rails, convex mirrors, wheel chocks for trucks and delivery vehicles and any structures that separate people and vehicles from coming into contact with each other.

You may be wanting to ask – why is warehouse safety so critical and such a big issue in our workplaces, factories and warehouse areas?  It is all about saving lives and reducing risks and this can be done with proper staff training and implementing these essential safety tools around moving machinery such as forklifts and lifting equipment.  The warehouse is a critical setting in the world of logistics for ensuring safe delivery of goods to our customers.  It has large spaces and often complex networks for storing product and storage racks are often at height causing forklifts to have raised forks which makes them rife with safety hazards that are liable to cause serious injury.  Statistics show that the transport, postal and warehousing industries have the highest fatalities in the reporting range and this area is second only to the fishing, agriculture and forestry industries.  Therefore it is essential to be aware of the hazards present in the warehouse area and have traffic plans in place to ensure the safety of workers and customers alike.  Slips on floors, trips on cords, falls caused by no railing are common injuries that occur and this type of injury can make up a high percentage of injuries in the workplace and warehouse areas.

Warehouses are bustling places where workers are constantly and actively moving around and forklifts play a crucial part in transporting goods from delivery vehicles to safe shelving areas and their purpose is to carry heavy loads which can sometimes be unstable so safety training in these areas is a very important issue to make the operators aware of their surrounding areas and keep the warehouses safe.  There should not be loose cables running across the floor area and these can be controlled with the cable protectors to save tripping and falls.  These are an essential safety tool in the working and traffic areas.  A poorly planned warehouse area without pedestrian accesses with bollards and barriers is a recipe for disaster and no consolation to employees that are keen to keep fit and healthy by using the essential safety tools that can be made available to them.

Safe behaviour in the warehouse needs to be reinforced and health and safety guidelines are essential tools to be made available to all workers so they are aware of what is required from them.  The Occupational Health and Safety Board have revealed that the fatal injury rate in the warehouse industry is higher than all other industries.

Lift tables, scissor lift tables, pallet lifting tables and all the available lifting devices from Astrolift all help in saving back injuries and are also essential traffic safety tools for our warehouse areas.