The material handling industry has a hand in almost every part the journey an item takes from idea to reality. Material handling encompasses everything from design and creating the most strategic manufacturing set-up to storage in a warehouse and delivery to the consumer. Because there are so many facets to the material handling industry, there are lots of opportunities to maximize safety. To learn more about four different aspects of safety in material handling, keep reading.
1) Manufacturing During the manufacturing process, there are lots of opportunities to emphasize safety. After the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970, lots of industries became subject to inspections from OSHA to insure worker safety. Manufacturing is one of these industries. During the process in which raw materials start their journey into the ultimate product, it is crucial that the responsible employees are trained in safety. Manufacturing employers must make sure their staff are trained to recognize potential hazards and have the skills they need to safely use any equipment they will be working on, including ladders or fall protection equipment.
2) Moving When a product is being moved from one part of the supply chain to another, it is crucial it is done so safely. For heavy loads, consider using a chain hoist, which uses a drum or lift wheel to minimize impact on the load worker’s have to move. There are lots of lifting products on the market that help to make this part of the process as safe as possible. As long as things like rigging equipment and chain slings are used properly, they can have big impacts on overall safety.
3) Storage While items are in warehouses awaiting their final destination, it is essential that they are stored in compliance with all safety standards. This point in the material handling process also is a great opportunity to implement OSHA’s recommendations to prevent falls. OSHA uses a three step system: plan, provide, and train. By following those three steps, dangerous falls can be prevented and lives can be saved.
4) Display Once an item arrives at its final destination, there is still a need to prioritize safety. Even retail settings need to think critically about how to prevent injury for its employees and customers. If a store has a large warehouse, they will need to invest in the proper lifting and fall prevention equipment. Those in charge of store layout should think about how to minimize the risk of tripping or falling for customers as they navigate displays. These simple steps can save people from serious injury and businesses from losing money.
The material handling industry, because of how much it encompasses, provides several opportunities to emphasize safety and improve the quality of workplaces. By making sure businesses are OSHA compliant and have the right equipment and training to do their work safely, the entire material handling process can be more efficient, cost-saving, and most importantly, safe.