Commercial warehouses – they’re big, they’re high volume, and they’re essential to the smooth supply of all of our population’s needs. They also have the potential to be extremely dangerous. According to one report from the Queensland Government’s Office of Industrial Relations, ‘Transport, postal and warehousing is one of the top two most high-risk industries for fatalities.’ The same assessment also reported that the serious injury claim rate for this industry is ‘substantially’ above the state average. These trends are echoed across the country.
These facts don’t even take into account minor injuries and the associated pressure even the smallest incident can have on business owners, management, employees and their families. Workplace injuries and the inevitable emotional and practical costs they create just aren’t worth it for anyone. So, how do we prevent them? By following safety legislation and guidelines, creating a pro-safety work environment, and as managers and business leaders, placing employee safety at the absolute top of your priority list.
Safety legislation and guidelines
Being the generally well resourced, well regulated, and well governed country that Australia is, it will come as no surprise that there are a lot of laws and guidelines relating specifically to the safety of workers in warehouse situations. However, if you’re new in business or you just feel like your workplace needs a strong safety reassessment, the Workplace Health & Safety section in the Australian Government’s Business website will get you started with lots of state specific resources.
For more warehouse specific safety resources, we recommend checking out Safe Work Australia’s guides relating to transport of goods within a warehouse environment. This Pallet Racking Fact Sheet from SafeWork NSW is even more specific again, and covers what we here at Cane Toad Tough feel is one of the most important practical aspects of warehousing. (Of course we think Pallet Racking is important, it’s literally our business!)
Creating a pro-safety work environment
Yes, staying safe at work has a lot to do with the individual, but an overall culture of being pro-safety is bigger than any one individual. It starts with the basics of having the correct equipment in well maintained, working order, used by people with the appropriate training. It extends right through to ensuring employees have adequate breaks to stay fresh and alert, and that no one is coerced into working if they are ill or injured. As Australians, we sometimes have a bit of ‘She’ll be right, push through!’ attitude. However, when it comes to keeping people safe in high risk environments, this can be the worst approach. How can you help your company steer away from this to safer grounds?
Make safety your top priority
Without healthy workers, your business is fundamentally unsustainable and injured workers cost your business dearly – emotionally, financially, and logistically. As warehouse managers and business owners, you lead workplace culture. All of your decisions either support or corrode a safe work environment. When thinking about safety, start from the physical site and equipment and work your way up.
Poor quality or badly maintained pallet racking systems can be the cause of serious injuries and significant stock loss. Here at Cane Toad Tough, we support workplace safety by providing a quality, well designed product, coupled with years of industry experience and professional installation. We’re invested in doing our bit to help keep your business a safe space. Contact us today for a demonstration and quote.
Image Source: Matthew Hamilton