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Most Common OSHA Violations in the Warehouse

Safety tips for warehouses that ahndle shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Most Common OSHA Violations in the Warehouse

Are you overwhelmed by OSHA violations in your warehouse? Are you finding the costs to be unbearable but do not know where to make improvements? Are you struggling with devising tactics to reduce your risk and liabilities? Have no fear, some of the most common causes of OSHA violations are easily amendable and reconcilable. While there are many ways you can improve your chances of decreasing violations, there are a few behaviors in particular that can slash vulnerabilities in warehouse operations. Adhering to a sound inspection schedule, enforcing compliance, implementing preventative measures, and promoting safe handling can all be in instrumental in lowering rate of incidence. Here is how:

Skipping Safety Inspections. There is no surer way to create trouble in your day-to-day operation than skipping safety inspections. Not only does doing this put workers at risk, it also can yield a litany of violations from OSHA. Most of these violations are avoidable if one simply checks for the basics regarding any vehicle. Assuring adequate fluid levels, no battery terminals are exposed, and that all indicators/lights are functioning can reduce liabilities in the event of an accident. On the contrary, any driver using a forklift with low hydraulic fluid resulting in an incident will definitely result in punitive action if OSHA discovers.

Operating Too Fast. As we have outlined before, reckless driving is a big no-no. If OSHA observes any operator driving above recommended speeds, fines will likely be the result. Using excessive speed or taking sharp turns as a result of moving too fast of a speed are two other practices that can result in a catastrophe. Thus it is important to operate any vehicle or appliance at or under the recommended speeds at all times, regardless of how light a load may be or how favorable conditions may appear.

Enforce Compliance. Reviewing and augmenting compliance programs is a great way to reduce OSHA violations. Unfortunately, many violations come as a result of employees being unsure of modern standards or up-to-date directives. Taking a gander at your compliance programs and awareness curriculum can derive if and where employees need to be introduced to emerging narratives or trending regulations. Doing so not only will lower violation liabilities and recurrence but will also foster safety in the warehouse. OSHA continuously updates their protocol to further enhance workplace safety with employee welfare prioritized.

Preventative Safety Training. According to TotalTrax, minimum compliance is simply not good enough. Conducting assessment and evaluation of safety practices to further identify areas for improvement. Continuous improvement must be the anchor of the modern warehouse and this philosophy must take center stage with safety training. Preventative safety training is as the name entails, teaching employees and personnel how to prevent incidents from happening and further forming a response plan to mitigate hazards in the event the unexpected were to transpire. From hazardous material awareness to how to don personal protective equipment, preventative safety training encapsulates all of these issues and further enables proactive behavior across the facility.

Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon.

New supply chain technologies help companies move shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Top Five Material Handling and Supply Chain Trends for 2016

The material handling and supply chain industry is dynamic. Each day and each year, the industry has taken on a new shape and form with innovative technologies and revolutionary ideas emerging at the forefront. There are many trends evolving within the industry, including automation, artificial intelligence, ecommerce, that continue to transform and revamp operations on both an individual and organizational, as well as a global level.

Here are the top five trends currently influencing and impacting the trade:

Automation. Supply chain management has become streamlined. In fact, software such as SAP has achieved near full automation to allow companies to focus more on service delivery as opposed to traditional supply chain management. Lean manufacturing or Six Sigma methodologies have also been integrated in to the industry, further calling for process improvement and full automation. These terms have become household names and administrators are being trained in these concepts more and more each day.

Artificial intelligence. Robots have been pushed to the forefront in many warehouse and production floors. Although it’s something dreamed up from science fiction, we have seen robotics emerge particularly in some commercial giants, including Amazon. Artificial intelligence costs less than a manual labor force and can achieve the functions and duties of supply chain operations seamlessly without breaks for hours upon end. Of course, with any new emergence, there sounds artificial intelligence a certain level of controversy for the exact reason just mentioned: it costs less than manual labor.

Ecommerce. Dropshipping is a new form of retail that best embodies emerging trends in supply chain management. Ecommerce used to be the simple ordering of a product or good from an online catalogue. Now, logistics, transportation and inventory is handled by digital plug-ins that tap into multiple sources and coordinate the full lifecycle of the transaction. We have seen this in both FBA and eBay, where small businesses, entrepreneurs and large conglomerates have utilized these technologies to bolster sales while reducing on operating overhead and marketing materials.

Service chains. The industry has been driven to focus on service chains. With this, fancy terms such as CSAT or customer satisfaction, FCR or first call resolution, and average handle time come into the equation. With supply chains being revamped by technological solutions, human personnel can focus on mastering the interpersonal element of business: customer service. The customer service representative position has become a hot position in recent times. CSRs embody prolific business acumen complemented by a slew of public relations talents.

Performance analytics. The emergence of key performance indicators have led the development of statistical algorithms to gauge productivity, efficiency, and quality. Predictive analytics, which are even more of a breakthrough, can be utilized for data mining as a way to predict the future, along with other proven techniques. While not fully abandoning the concept of forecasting, predictive analytics will draw correlations between past events and help to predict future events.

Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Connect with him via Twitter at @TomReddon.