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How to Protect Warehouse Pedestrians from Forklift Rear Swings

December 27, 2016

fall protection harness system in a warehouse

Forklifts aren’t cars, and they don’t drive like them.

They don’t brake or accelerate like cars, and they certainly don’t steer like them, yet accidents occur far too often because drivers and pedestrians don’t understand the difference. Pedestrians misunderstand the way forklifts maneuver, and the danger of walking or working around them. Forklifts aren’t dangerous to pedestrians only from the front or rear — they can also hit someone on foot from the side, frequently due to rear-end swings, since forklifts swing wide when they corner.

How can your reduce the chances for this type of accident?

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Posted in Forklift - Pedestrian Safety|

Digital OSHA Incident Reporting: Mandatory and Coming Soon

December 5, 2016

fall protection harness system in a warehouse

If you are a safety or EHS director, you probably knew this was coming: starting January 21, 2017 certain companies will be required to electronically submit their injury and illness data. This is data these companies should already be keeping, so the requirement isn’t so much about new record keeping as it is updated methodology.

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics|

10 Ways to Set up Warehouse Workers for Success

November 29, 2016

warehouse worker picking from a storage rack

Companies spend lots of time trying to understand the best ways to increase efficiency in their operations. How do I increase pick rates? Why do we spend more time on things that add no value than we should? Why do we make so many mistakes, and how do I stop it? Why is there so much waste in the system? How can this be better organized?

These are all good questions, and the answer to solving these problems usually lies in developing people to work their best.

In this day and age of increasing industrial productivity, tough global competition, and tight labor, integrating personnel development with best practices facility design, automation, processes and management is key to reducing labor costs, increasing margins, and becoming a more profitable operation. People thrive in good environments where they are set up to succeed. What can you do to build the right situation for your people?

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

10 Tips: How to Protect Yourself from the Hidden Costs of Used Racks

November 8, 2016

order picker in a rack warehouse

Pallet racks are durable, and you know that if you spend any time in this industry. When properly specified, installed, used and maintained, they can last for decades. If you choose to install used racks, take sensible precautions to ensure safety and stability.

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Posted in Pallet & Warehouse Racks|

Hiring and Developing Outstanding Order Pickers

October 12, 2016

order picker working on flow rack system

Order fulfillment operations come in all sizes, shapes and types, including a basket of challenges that diversity creates. One of the most difficult challenges in this industry is developing order picking talent. It’s competitive these days, as you know, for distribution facilities and e-commerce fulfillment centers. One of the best ways to enhance those operations is to develop your labor force more fully. What can you do?

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment|

How to Solve the Ergonomic Problems of Floor-Level Carton Picking

September 27, 2016

order picker in a rack warehouse

When working with palletized goods stored at floor level beneath a rack beam in a typical warehouse, there are significant issues for order pickers who execute these tasks daily, including strains and stresses that can lead to major injuries, down time, and worker compensation expenses.

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics|

How to Make Rack Aisles Safer for Foot Traffic

August 17, 2016

warehouse store loading water bottles

Above: Stock image of warehouse store and pallet rack

Pallet racks by nature are very safe storage equipment, but in any areas people interact with machinery, and heavy storage, there are dangers. A recent accident at a big box warehouse retailer helps illustrate some of the problems with busy pedestrian aisles between heavy storage racks.

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Posted in Pallet & Warehouse Racks|

In Tight Labor Markets, How Can Warehouses Thrive?

August 12, 2016

warehouse worker in a pallet rack aisle

Distribution is growing — booming, some would say — particularly in larger markets. This tend is being driven by many factors, including a sustained economic recovery and low unemployment rates. Also, e-commerce powers like Amazon are in the midst of one-day or same-day delivery guarantees that require larger, more capable distribution networks that can serve major markets faster and usually within close proximity. These factors help to create stress on labor shortages in these cities, as newer distribution facilities open and existing ones expand. Add to that, the ongoing woes with skilled labor and a generally aging labor force.

How can you cope with a tight labor market?

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

Ergonomics and Hand Tools

July 19, 2016

manufacturing activities

Ergonomics should be wired into the design of all the processes of a modern industrial operation. Whether that means designing conveyor workstations with ergonomics in mind, utilizing work benches and stations that are adjustable for “right height” operations, adding turntables to rotate product, finding ways to reduce order pickers’ bending and stretching, or designing storage areas so that bending and stretching are minimized, well-designed operations bake ergonomics into their work processes.

One of the common areas you can attack is hand tool use. In many operations, strong younger workers may not complain about using heavy, hand-held tools for 8+ hours a day, but that stress is taking its tolls.

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics|

What Causes a Pallet Rack Collapse? How Can You Prevent it?

June 24, 2016

Pallet Rack Collapse

When heavy loads are stored on multi-level pallet racks, collapses and product falls are a primary safety concern. Busy warehouses with many workers who drive or walk between aisles of rack should find ways to reduce the chances of a disastrous event.

Stopping a collapse is an order of magnitude easier and less expensive than a single incident. Due to its interconnected nature, when pallet rack falls, it’s usually an entire row, or a series of them. Costs, in terms of damaged product, lost production time and injuries can be extreme. In many “just-in-time” manufacturing operations, losing components means losing days of production time.

So: what can you do?

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Posted in Pallet & Warehouse Racks|

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