Published 15 Aug 2023
What is a Warehouse Safety Checklist?
A warehouse safety checklist is used by safety officers and warehouse workers to identify safety hazards and come up with preventive measures to avoid accidents and injury. This tool is often enforced in warehouses to ensure that workers take precautionary measures inside the facility and ultimately protect assets and lives.
In this article
- Why is Warehouse Safety important?
- Warehouse Safety Steps
- How are Warehouse Inspections Done?
- Warehouse Safety Checklists Should Include What Items to Check?
- SafetyCulture Marketplace: Your One-Stop Work Gear & Equipment Shop
- Efficient Warehouse Safety Inspections with SafetyCulture
Why is Warehouse Safety important?
Warehouse safety has always been important, but its importance is heightened by increased shipment and storage of hazardous items and the handling of heavy machinery. It is important to establish a proper safety protocol, conduct regular safety training, follow a long-term and short-term housekeeping procedure, and have the proper safety products and equipment.
Warehouse Safety Steps
A lot of factors are considered when it comes to warehouse safety and keeping track of them all can be a little bit challenging. To help with that, below is a list of steps to follow or best practices to implement in order to keep warehouses safe:
- Promote general safety – Emphasize the importance of safety in every aspect of the business. Provide training and courses, boost hazard awareness, and communicate constantly with employees and third-party vendors or suppliers that also occupy the site.
- Use safety equipment – Utilize safety tools that help prevent injuries such as forklifts, guard rails, anti-slip tapes, etc. With this, be sure to follow protocols on shelving safety and vehicle safety—conduct training and observe safety practices constantly.
- Remove potential hazards – Enforce good housekeeping strategies and involve the employees in implementing them. To avoid workplace injury and damage to machinery— floors should be free from debris, liquids, unnecessary cords, cracks, and pits.
- Mark hazardous areas – As one of the most effective ways to keep a workplace safe, clearly indicate hazardous areas in your warehouse using safety signs and symbols. It is critical that equipment, harmful zones, and emergency exits, among others, are properly labeled and marked.
- Wear protective clothing – Similar to other danger-prone workplaces, practice the use of protective clothing such as hard hats, gloves, and eyewear, especially when in the area of operations. It is also encouraged to avoid loose-fitting clothes which can get caught in equipment or machinery.
- Conduct fire safety drills – Regularly conduct fire safety drills to ensure that all warehouse occupants are aware of the evacuation plan in case of emergencies. Drills also help ensure that fire alarms, smoke detectors, and emergency lights are all in good working conditions.
- Perform regular inspections – Raise your warehouse safety efforts by performing regular and random inspections. These assessments help ensure that safety protocols are consistently followed, enable you to identify areas where there are instances of non-conformance, and allow you to spot processes where safety can further be improved.
How are Warehouse Inspections Done?
Warehouse inspection may seem utterly overwhelming, but its importance cannot be argued as it can spell the difference between a safe warehouse operations day and a fatal accident. Fail it and your company could be out thousands of dollars;. Or worse, your hundreds of jobs—or even your business— may suddenly be in jeopardy.
With that, here are 4 key steps you can follow so you can ensure a comprehensive warehouse inspection:
Examine the Warehouse and Identify Opportunities for Improvement
Warehouse inspections are crucial to the prevention of accidents, injuries, and illnesses. An in-depth warehouse walkthrough can help identify and record potential risks for corrective action. With a warehouse audit checklist, you can ensure that you don’t miss inspections of specific areas because you have a comprehensive list of everything that needs to be checked. Complete and accurate inspection data ensure a safe working structure for you and your warehouse staff.
Review Warehouse Safety Program to Know Strengths and Gaps
A smart way to identify strengths and gaps in your warehouse safety program is to put it side by side with best safety practices for warehouse operations by OSHA and international regulatory bodies. Assess the workplace conditions to identify strong areas and duplicate its effects; on the other hand, you should also discover areas that need improvement with regard to compliance and traditional OSHA safety standards or international practices.You can note these findings on the warehouse inspection report and use it as a point of discussion for improvement with the management.
Develop a Strategy to Address Gaps
Remedial action for findings is the key to achieving warehouse safety audit success. Active effort from the management team will help implement changes to get the best results. Develop an action plan that lists all areas that need to be addressed to ensure that all aspects have been considered. This will also ensure the succeeding audits go smoothly.
Do More Than What Is Necessary
You need to take it up a notch and beyond minimum requirements if you want to provide the best safety measures for your warehouse employees. There are basic requirements to be met that can protect your workers from injury, and going beyond these will further develop a positive safety culture in your warehouse in the long-run.
Warehouse Safety Checklists Should Include What Items to Check?
Warehouse safety checklists should ensure that the following are checked:
- Aisles and open areas are clear and open
- Racks should be in good condition
- Fire extinguishers are regularly inspected and in good condition
- Overhead lighting fixtures are working and in good condition
- Loose/unboxed materials are properly stacked
- Derail and/or bumper blocks on spur railroad tracks
- Employees are in PPE when handling chemicals
- There are covers and/or guardrails to protect employees from fall hazards
- Elevators and hoists are used correctly for lifting materials
- Hazardous materials containers are properly labeled
- Dock doors are working properly and closed when not in use
- There is adequate ventilation
- Equipment is in good working condition
- Pest control is effective
- Training and evaluation in place for employees
SafetyCulture Marketplace: Your One-Stop Work Gear & Equipment Shop
Improve safety in your workplace with SafetyCulture Marketplace as your one-stop shop for all work gear and equipment needs. Get on-demand access to top quality and specialized work gear from trusted equipment brands in the industry—all in one centralized location. Raise the bar of safety and efficiency by empowering employees to request what they need with just a few taps, anytime and anywhere!
Efficient Warehouse Safety Inspections with SafetyCulture
Maintaining and using multiple warehouse checklists can be burdensome and unproductive. With the SafetyCulture mobile safety audit software, warehouse managers can perform paperless warehouse safety assessments using a smartphone or tablet. The warehouse safety app allows you to schedule and conduct your warehouse safety checks using only your mobile device. Additionally, warehouse managers can do the following:
- Build, customize, and easily update warehouse audit checklists
- Schedule and assign regular warehouse safety inspections and know when and where they were completed
- Capture detailed information and review photos taken during inspections
- Quickly act on emergencies and record all actions taken
- Maintain convenient recordkeeping of all warehouse management inspections, findings, and corrective actions taken
- Have an overview of the status of multiple warehouse sites using an online dashboard
To get you started, we’ve collated the most comprehensive warehouse checklists you can use to improve the safety and working conditions of your workers.
This OSHA warehouse safety checklist converted using SafetyCulture is used to inspect the general safety of all employees working in a warehouse. In addition, assessment of employees is also conducted to ensure material handling procedures were followed and hazard communication process was discussed. Use this OSHA warehouse safety inspection checklist to conduct a digital inspection and generate on-the-spot reports.
This cold store/ warehouse inspection checklist is used to identify defects and damages to the structure, design, and facilities of your warehouse. This cold storage safety checklist covers food storage facilities and practices, temperature monitoring, pest control, and food dispatch and transport. Use SafetyCulture to schedule your audits and never miss any of your scheduled inspection again
This warehouse safety compliance checklist is a walkthrough inspection tool which checks the condition of aisles, stairs, ladders, and air emissions. Use this warehouse assessment checklist template before you start your shift to identify if employees wear appropriate PPE, aware of the emergency procedures and are fully trained on material handling. You can also utilize this tool as a warehouse hazards checklist and note potential hazards observed during the walkthrough. Use SafetyCulture to capture photo defects of tools and materials that need to be replaced or removed in the warehouse.
Forklifts are used to carry heavy loads in and around the warehouse. Operating forklifts pose numerous hazards to the worker. Use this warehouse forklift checklist to evaluate visual damage, faults on control functions, and unusual noise or vibration on forklifts before commencing operation at warehouse. Use SafetyCulture to capture photo of the defects and generate efficient reports
Use this warehouse ergonomics checklist to assess the ergonomic movement, workload, posture and transport of goods in your warehouse. Workers must know and exercise best ergonomic practices to avoid physical stress and other health related injuries. Use this SafetyCulture warehouse audit checklist to capture best practice behaviours in warehouse ergonomics and areas for improvement.
This warehouse maintenance checklist can be used to regularly conduct maintenance inspections of warehouses. Use this warehouse assessment checklist tool to ensure that different components of the warehouse facility comply with internal and international maintenance standards and keep an overall safe working place for warehouse workers.
This warehouse food safety checklist can be used to inspect good manufacturing practices (GMP) for food production in warehouses. Use this warehouse food safety audit checklist to ensure that food storage practices are compliant with international standards.
This warehouse health and safety checklist helps perform a general assessment of a warehouse’s health and safety practices. Using this checklist for a warehouse health and safety audit, you can identify both good and bad practices, and proactively address the bad ones by conducting interviews with respondents. You can customize this warehouse health and safety audit form to include your warehouse company’s internal inspection standards to ensure having the most comprehensive responses for your health and safety audit.