5 Ways to Reduce the Risks in Warehousing

Once you can get your logistics and supply costs under control the next best way to reduce your overall costs is to reduce the risks in warehousing. There are a few things that you have to consider when it comes to risk and where your money is going. Risk comes in several different forms and mitigating at least some of it can easily help you to see a nice reduction in costs.

Employee Injuries

At the top of the list of costs is injuries to your warehouse employees. According to recently published statistics the following data is available regarding warehouse injuries in the EU:

The 2012 UK standardised rate of 0.58 per 100,000 workers is considerably lower than that of many EU member states, including other large economies such as France (2.64 per 100,000), Germany (2.9 per 100,000), Italy (1.29 per 100,000) and Spain (1.99 per 100,000).  Rates are based on fatalities. The transport sector is excluded from these statistics.

forkliftThere is quite a bit of research that is dedicated to the amount of loss that a company can experience due to a workplace injury. A research article that looks at not only company costs but at socioeconomic costs can be found here that can shed some more light on exactly how much employee injuries are costing you.

Taking safety measures to reduce the risk of injury is very important.

Inventory Loss

The 5 ways you can reduce risk in warehousing do not only apply to those expensive workplace injuries but they also apply to your inventory loss as well. Every year a substantial amount of inventory is damaged, lost to unauthorized access or rendered useless because of other unforeseen exposures.

Protecting your inventory has to be a priority. In most cases your stock of inventory is your single largest asset. Taking steps to reduce risk includes taking steps to better protect your stock of inventory.

First On the List Step 1 The Assessment

The first thing you need to do to reduce risk is to take a look around. By doing an assessment of your warehouse you will be able to determine where improvements can be made.  An audit of your:

  • Packaging
  • Tools
  • Systems
  • Workforce

Auditing all of the above is a simple step to take to gather the information you need to start making safety improvements that will reduce your risk. Are you using packaging that is easy to use? Are you using packaging that is providing protection to your inventory?

Are there unnecessary tools around your warehouse that your staff can work without? Is there an easy to use system for retrieving and storing your packaging? Are you using your workforce the right way?

Next Up - Let’s Talk Packaging

If you are not using pallets and pallet collars than you are not offering your warehouse labor an opportunity to work in a safer environment. If you want to reduce risk this is a very simple solution.

Pallets and pallet collars are an easy option that require no tools to construct (see our next piece of advice). They stack safely. The collars can be folded flat for easy storage so they are out of the way. 

It seems like a simple answer but when you consider the benefits it becomes much clearer why switching out your outdated packaging to pallets and pallet collars it makes complete sense. You will have an option that can:

  • Be easily stored for retrieval (gives labor more space to work in)
  • No need for tools to construct (reduces tool injuries)
  • Sturdy stacking possibilities (less fall issues)
  • Can be moved by ONE person with a pallet jack or forklift

It is an easy solution but it is an effective way to reduce risk in the warehouse.

The Tools

Tools can be both a way to reduce risk and a way to increase risk. The goal is to use the right tools. If your labor force has to use crow bars, hammers and other tools to construct wooden crates for packaging, storage and transport than you are exposing them to unnecessary risks. Making sure that your packaging does not require extraordinary effort so minimal tools have to be used is a great way to reduce risk.

For example, the wooden pallets and pallet collars that are mentioned above do not require ANY tools to construct. There are no worries about a hammer being left out or other tools being forgotten that can cause injuries.

How Effective Are Your Systems?

Can your labor force easily move the inventory around the warehouse? An effective system is one that offers easy retrieval and storage options. Wooden pallets and pallet collars offers an easy system of storage, shipping and movement.

You can assign one person to use a forklift or pallet jack to move the pallets around. You can use pallet storage racks to keep pallet collars secure when not in use. It is an effective system that can reduce injuries while providing superior protection of your products.

Efficient Labor Use

Are you using your labor force the right way? Many times injuries and product damage occurs because your labor force in the warehouse is not being used to the best advantage. It comes back again to your packaging, storage and shipping options. Wooden pallets and pallet collars will help to ensure that your labor force is making the best use of their time.

Back injuries can be avoided by not having to have multiple people try to move awkward hard to move corrugated cardboard boxes or wooden crates. All you need is one person on a fork lift or with a pallet jack to move around pallets.

Reducing Unauthorized Access and Other Damage

Keeping your inventory safe and secure is also easier with pallets and pallet collars. Unlike other options like shrink wrap or corrugated cardboard, wooden pallets with pallet collars are not prone to moisture influx or unauthorized access.

With just a few simple changes you can greatly reduce risk in warehousing.

18.05.2016

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