Health and Safety

Improving your warehouse efficiency Improving efficiency and reducing costs – it puts a smile on our faces and it’s something that every warehouse manager wants to achieve. The best part, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

Whilst you may attempt to reduce costs by using second hand pallet racking, logistical and safety issues can arise from this. If an employee is injured, not only will you lose the savings you made by buying second-hand racking, but if your employee requires time off, that’s your efficiency gone too.

On the other hand, sure, automated robots can run 24-hours a day, but they are going to cost big. Additionally, without the right balance of human workers to ensure the robots are working efficiently, it’s Terminator waiting to happen, right? 

In this post, we’ll run through a few ways you can reduce costs and improve the efficiency of your warehouse.

1.      First Things First - Review Your Processes

One weak link in your chain and the whole process suffers. Analyse your process to find room for efficiencies, are you making the most of your space? Is your warehouse using the best drop off and loading process? Do you have enough storage for surplus products – maybe you have an excess or storage space?

Rather than just looking at it from a management point of view, talk to your employees and team leaders to find out where they think room for efficiency lies in their relevant roles and departments.

2.      Keep It Safe

Nothing is as inefficient and costlier than an unsafe warehouse. In 2015/6, there were 4.5 million working days lost due to workplace injury, around 20% of these were manual handling related injuries and 19% from slips and trips – we understand that some injuries are unpreventable, but there are several things you can do to keep these numbers down.

Here’s a couple of our top tips for keeping your warehouse an injury free-zone

  • Ensure your employees receive proper training relevant to their role
  • Keep your warehouse well-lit and save the planet whilst you’re at it with LED lighting
  • Ensure the relevant safety equipment is worn at all times
  • Always use safe lifting techniques for manual handling
  • Promote awareness of the potential hazards in your warehouse to employees
  • Correctly zone out hazardous areas of your warehouse with floor markers

 3.      Make the Most of The Space Already Available

The layout of the warehouse is one of the most important factors in keeping it efficient and ensuring that your warehouses’ layout maximises productivity ensuring more work gets done.

If you’re certain your layout is optimal and think you’ve reached the maximum space in your warehouse, look up! Rather than spend on costly expansions to your warehouse, make better use of your vertical space.

There are several products designed to make the most of existing space, for example, narrow aisle pallet racking systems and multi-tier mezzanine floors that allow up to 3 floors - effectively trebling your workspace.

4.      Consider Introducing Automated Technologies

New technologies are constantly being developed to increase efficiency in the warehouse, ensuring you stay on the lookout for advancements in these new methods keeps you competitive and gives you the opportunity to be at the forefront of warehouse efficiency. 

This doesn’t mean replacing your entire workforce with automated machines, but incorporating this technology into your existing workforce to do tasks that can be competently and more efficiently done by automated technology, these could include, picking, storage configuration and packaging.

5.      Keep Your Employees Happy

The key to a truly efficient warehouse is a happy one and job satisfaction has a direct correlation with motivation and output of work. Here are a few ideas for keeping your employees happy in the warehouse:

  • Implement equipment and methods to improve processes
  • Offer incentives, this could include bonus schemes, employee of the month rewards and team days out
  • Provide the correct training for employees to do their jobs competently and confidently
  • Openly take and implement feedback from employees

Talk to The Experts

So there you have it, increasing your warehouse efficiency doesn’t necessarily mean increasing your costs. If you need a hand getting your warehouse up to scratch, we can help. Whether it’s inspections, new pallet racking systems to maximise your space or information on how to keep your workers safe; give us a call on 01179 555 211.

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Case Studies , Shelving Systems , Health and Safety

Client: Amcor Flexibles

Amcor is a global leader in responsible global packaging solutions supplying a broad range of rigid & flexible packaging products into the food, beverage, healthcare, home and personal care and tobacco packaging industries

Galvanised Shelving Installation in Bristol

Location: Winterbourne, Bristol

Products:  Galvanised Steel Shelving with Shelf Panels

Click here to buy this galvanised steel shelving for your storeroom online now.

Initial Brief:

After successfully carrying out rack repair works in the warehouse, Bristol Storage Equipment were invited to quote for some storage racking to another work area of the site where there was a requirement to create a neat and tidy environment to meet health and safety guidelines.

Project Summary:

Installation of galvanised shelving for bulky and awkward hand loaded items. All shelves were fitted with heavy duty steel decks to take loads of up to nearly 500Kgs per level. Having successfully worked with the company on projects in the past, Bristol Storage were asked to advise on the most suitable solution for creating a clean and efficient work area

Steel Shelving Installation in Bristol, UK

Specification:

Bay Details

  • Bay Type 1       1950mm H x 800mm D x 2000mm clear entry
  • Bay Type 2       1950mm H x 800mm D x 2400mm clear entry
  • Bay Type 3       1950mm H x 800mm D x 1200mm clear entry

Each bay is fitted with 4 Beam Levels including steel decking panels to each level.

Safe Working Load Signs provided. All load signs supplied inline with SEMA guidelines.

Load Data

480 Kgs per level

Layout Details

  • 1 run comprising 2 no. Bays @ Bay Type 1 and 1 no. Bay @ Bay Type 2, 6600mm Overall Length
  • 1 run comprising 1 no. Bay @ Bay Type 3, 1300mm Overall Length

Nationwide delivery of all shelving and racking systems - installation also available nationwide

Contact us now on 0117 955 5211 or email info@bristol-storage.co.uk.

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Warehouse , Health and Safety

Fork Lift Safety in the Warehouse

Forlift truck drive lifting pallets in a storage warehouseWe have said it time and time again, and we’re about to say it again. We cannot stress enough the importance of health and safety in the workplace. From correct moving and handling practices to proper signage there are a host of responsibilities you have as an employer.

And, although we haven’t previously covered it in great detail, fork lift driving is a major factor.

Whilst our Facebook page is all fun and games with our #FridayFail, which often features dangerous near misses with warehouse fork lifts, the potential for harm is very real. Have a read below as we discuss what provisions you need to put in place to ensure the safety of your employees.

General Forklift Practices

The powered industrial truck is used to lift and move materials short distance and is therefore ideal for use in the warehouse and similar environments.

However, forklifts can be particularly dangerous in the warehouse. In fact, on average they are forklifts are involved in a quarter of all workplace transport accidents which is on the whole largely due to insufficient training on forklifts for employees.

Fork Lift Training

According to the Health and Safety Executive forklift training should always include three stages as detailed below:

  • Basic Training: Employees should be equipped with the basic skills and knowledge required to operate a lift truck safely as well as efficiently.
  • Specific Job Training: Drivers should be provided with the knowledge and understanding of the operating principles and controls of the lift truck and how these will be used within their specific working environment.
  • Familiarisation Training: Employees should be given the opportunity to apply what they have learnt under the normal working conditions of their new employment.

There is no specific requirement detailing the length of training as there are many issues that will affect the rate of an individual’s learning. Simply, training should be as long as it takes to meet all of the requirements.

In addition, it is important that even those who have received previous training, and therefore considered experienced, are routinely monitored in the workplace and when necessary tested or required to undergo refresher forklift training.

Basic Rules and Top Tips

We have compiled a handful of fork lift safety rules, as well as some excellent tips, to ensure that both employer and employee, as well as additional warehouse employees, are not put in a position of danger.

  • Qualifications – As mentioned above, and perhaps the most important aspect of fork lift safety is ensuring that ALL future employees receive the proper and adequate training. Without these measures you will putting all employees at serious risk.
  • Clothing – Appropriate clothing including safety work wear such as hard hats, safety shoes, and hi-visibility jackets should be worn at all times. In addition, all clothing needs to be reasonably fitted to avoid the risk of any loose clothing being caught in the machinery.
  • Routine Checks – Just as you should be carrying out routine checks on your Pallet Racking, you should take the time to carefully examine the equipment on a daily basis. Ensure that you check for any faults, particularly focusing on the brakes, steering, controls, warning devices, masts, and tyres.
  • The Environment – The driver should always pay attention to and carefully follow any site rules and guidelines. It is therefore your duty, as an employer, to ensure that the correct signage is in place and clearly visible to all employees. The operator must only drive the equipment in the machinery’s designated roadways to avoid collision and ensure that all signs are observed; especially those that lay out the rules for loadings and clearance heights.
  • Don’t Speed – We’d hope that this one was a given but we’re including it anyway. Just as you should obey The Highway Code, drivers of fork lift trucks should never exceed the instructed speed limit. Corners and turns should be taken slowly to avoid tipping and coming to a stop should be gradual and slow.
  • Avoid Hazards – We understand that this one is often easier said than done, but drivers should try and steer clear of any bumps, uneven ground surfaces, and slippery conditions. We’d suggest making use of the horn when closing in on a corner or doorway to alert pedestrians and other drivers of your presence to avoid unnecessary collisions.
  • Never Overload – Ensure that you and your drivers know the capacity of the vehicle as well as any attachments and never exceed these. An overload can cause rear tyres to raise off the ground and could cause the truck to tip over.
  • Clear Visibility – Never operate the truck if visibility is poor. Carry a load low to the floor to allow for improved forward visibility or alternatively choose to reverse. When stacking, ensure that you have a good view of the rack or top stack where a load should be positioned. However, we understand that poor visibility is inevitable; in this case we suggest that you employ a lookout or helper to ensure that no individuals are put at risk.
  • Correct Equipment Use – Do not let other people ride on the equipment unless a second seat is fitted as the vehicles are designed to carry loads and not additional bodies.

More Help and Information

Whether you need a bit of advice regarding your warehouse operations, or are in need of updating or additional pallet racking give our team a call. Just dial 01179 555 211 and our knowledgeable and friendly team will be happy to lend you a hand.

Alternatively, why not check out our blog? We offer some great advice regarding all areas of warehousing which could help you ensure smooth, safe operations.

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