Warehouses are vital to any operation, across a breadth of industries and sectors. Whether it’s being used to temporarily store goods, permanently store goods, as a manufacturing facility or as a distribution centre, the same safety rules must be adhered to. Warehouse safety is essential both for the health of the workers and the purity of the goods and products.

At Mats4U, we have a wealth of experience in helping businesses across the UK to remain compliant with various legislations and regulations. Our main contribution is ensuring that the proper warehouse mats and industrial mats (such as assembly line mats and workstation mats) are within the building - but we also have many more safety tips to keep your operation running safely and smoothly. 

  1. Keep It Clean And Organised

A tidy space is a safe space. The best way to prevent accidents in the workplace is by ensuring that everything has its own space and is well looked after. This means that shelves should be stacked neatly, aisles should be cleared and equipment should be cleaned and put away. 

A great way to keep things clean is by choosing materials that are easily washed. Stainless steel surfaces can simply be wiped clean, while rubber industrial mats can be effortlessly hosed down. Making these quick switches can boost the safety of your warehouse and half the cleaning time. 

And a really effective means of being organised is by having a system. This will vary according to the specifications and capacity of your warehouse and the kind of work that is conducted there. Creating a clear and sensible plan for your space, and making sure that everyone adheres to it, will significantly reduce any associated risks. 

  1. Instate Safety Warning Signs

According to the Health and Safety Regulations Act 1996, safety warning signs are actually a legal requirement. They must be in places where there is a risk to the health and safety of employees, despite other precautions having been taken. 

Any warning sign that you use should be:

  • Clear and legible 

  • Easily understood

  • Identifying a hazard OR highlighting a solution 

Some useful safety warning signs include: first aid, warning: forklift in operation, forklift speed limit, keep clear, caution: pedestrians, and fire extinguisher. 

  1. Use Warehouse Mats Or Industrial Mats

Warehouse mats and industrial mats are a great way to reduce possible safety risks. This is because they have various properties which target different pain points within a warehouse. 

Warehouses are prone to dirt and water, especially near entrances and loading bays. This is because these are high-traffic areas, both in terms of people and vehicles, and so they also pose a considerable risk for slips and falls. An industrial mat designed to protect against dirt, moisture and grit would be a great addition to this space, removing a large portion of the risk. An example of such a mat is the Waterhog Modular Forklift Mat

Another scenario in which a warehouse mat would be a productive addition, is the day-to-day activities of your employees. Many warehouses are used for packaging, which means that employees are standing for long periods of time. Some warehouse mats have anti-fatigue properties, preventing workers from aches, pains and tiredness - all of which typically leads to clumsiness. An effective mat in this instance would be the Cushion Max Anti Fatigue Mat

With social distancing still being an important consideration, Crossline Social Distancing Warehouse Factory Mats can also be a great addition to any industrial workplace. This is because they ensure that employees are a safe distance apart from each other. 

  1. Create Designated Paths

A designated path for pedestrians provides a safe route for people on foot. This means that they can navigate the warehouse without being at risk of a forklift accident and, conversely, without obstructing any moving vehicles and putting the drivers at risk. 

Clear paths, ideally signposted, create an easy flowing traffic system. This grants the warehouse a fluidity and ease of operation; not only does it mitigate the risk of accidents, but it means that daily activities and objectives can be carried out and met more easily, without interference. 

  1. Wear Proper Safety Clothing

Safety clothing is essential to any industrial operation, which means that it is crucial that workers within a warehouse are dressed properly. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations Act 1992 outlines a series of questions and consequential actions to determine the kind of safety equipment that you should be wearing. 

One of the most important pieces of safety equipment is hi-vis clothing. This ensures that you are spotted in all weather conditions, at all times of day and night. Being visible at all times will ensure that other workers can see you, no matter how busy they are or how quickly they are moving. 

Other valuable pieces of safety equipment include: 

  • Hard hats

  • Safety goggles

  • Protective gloves

  • Steel-toed boots

The safety equipment you need will be determined by the purpose of the warehouse, and the other equipment that is in use. For example, if you have warehouse mats in place, there may be fewer regulations regarding footwear. This is because a mat such as the Hog Heaven Modular II Anti Fatigue Tile will alleviate stress to your legs and back, increasing comfort in the workplace, and thus general safety. 

  1. Implement Appropriate Employee Training

It’s really important that all employees are trained to a high standard. This will prevent them from making simple mistakes that could ultimately lead to catastrophic results. All employees should be well versed in: warehouse safety standards, best practice equipment operation, vehicle safety and general safety awareness.

Having initial training for new employees isn’t enough. By having regular training opportunities throughout the year, you are investing in your warehouse and ensuring that everyone has a good and well-rounded understanding of safety practices. Whether you choose to invest in in-house training or external courses is a decision that you should make based upon your needs and budget. 

While first aid training isn’t essential, it is definitely a worthwhile investment. This is because it guarantees that if there is an accident, there is someone on site that can take control of the situation and provide the necessary medical assistance. 

  1. Conduct Regular Safety Checks

Regular warehouse safety inspections are imperative for the safety of everyone involved in the operation. Not only do they identify potential hazards, but they highlight areas for improvement and ensure that everything is in-line with regulations, safety codes and best practices. Failure to conduct safety inspections can result in severe workplace injuries, as faults and wider problems may go undetected.

There are many different kinds of warehouse safety checks that should be carried out on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. This is because they vary according to depth and purpose. A daily safety inspection will not be as thorough, or as analytical, as an annual safety inspection. 

A safety inspection is only as useful as the consequential actions taken. This means that if a safety risk is identified, it is essential that action is taken. If your warehouse is used to store liquids, for example, and spill and slip risks are identified, it would make sense to invest in industrial mats so that your employees are not at risk of falling and hurting themselves. 

How Can Mats4U Help?

Hopefully you have found this blog post useful! There are so many ways to increase the safety of your warehouse - our tips are only the beginning. While there is no way to ensure total safety, these are just some of the things that you can do to ensure that the warehouse poses as little danger to its inhabitants as possible. 

If you choose to invest in industrial mats, then be sure to take a look at our offering. With an extensive selection of assembly line mats, workstation mats and other warehouse mats, you couldn’t be in a better place. From anti-fatigue to anti-slip, our mats have the properties that you need to keep your warehouse safe and secure at all times.

Get in touch today by completing a contact form, and we can address any questions that you may have. And if you’re interested in reading more about all things matting, take a look at our blog posts - we’re sure you’ll find them helpful.