Introduction

Having a warehouse safety checklist to run every month might seem like a pain, but it beats paying $82.5 million in a lawsuit following from flouting safety regulations.

Instead, just use this checklist to check that everything in your warehouse is up to standard and that your employees are safe and sound.

From surface damage to obstructions, it's time to eliminate every hazard in your facility.

Warehouse safety checklist details:

Record your details

Before we get into the meat of the warehouse safety checklist you need to record your details. Do so using the form fields below.

This will let anybody looking back through previous inspections see who carried them out at a glance.

Record the details of the warehouse safety inspection

Next you need to do the same for the inspection itself. Recording details such as the date of the inspection and the warehouse being examined will leave no doubt in anyone's mind as to what was examined and when.

Record these details using the form fields below.

General safety checks:

Check for damage to surfaces

Kicking off the main section of our warehouse safety checklist you need to check for any damaged surfaces. For now don't worry about checking individual items (racks, forklifts, etc), but instead focus on the building and location itself.

Work through the sub-checklist and form fields below to check every and record what you find.

  • 1
    Floors
  • 2
    Walls
  • 3
    Ceilings
  • 4
    Doors
  • 5
    Windows

Make sure there are no obstructions

Next you need to go through the facility and make sure that there are no obstructions in place. For example, aisles need to be clear to navigate, workstations free of clutter, and vehicles parked in the correct location.

Again, follow the sub-checklist below and fill in the form fields in order to note down what you find.

  • 1
    Aisles
  • 2
    Loading docks
  • 3
    Offices
  • 4
    Workstations
  • 5
    Corridors
  • 6
    Reception area (if applicable)
  • 7
    Exits

Inspect cleanliness

Now it's time to check that the warehouse's hygiene is up to standard. A little mess is unavoidable in an environment with constant movement and vehicle use, but here you need to be looking for anything which could pose a health risk.

For example, you need to check that trash is thrown away, trash cans are emptied, toilets cleaned, that there are no spillages, and so on.

Record your progress using the sub-checklist below and your findings using the form fields.

  • 1
    No trash lying around
  • 2
    Bins are emptied (or at least not full)
  • 3
    No spillages
  • 4
    Toilets are clean
  • 5
    Floors are swept/hoovered/washed

Check warehouse lighting

There's no point in cleaning the warehouse if the work areas are too dark to navigate safely, so now you need to check that the lighting in all areas is both working and sufficient.

As with the previous steps in this warehouse safety checklist, work through the sub-checklist below to makes sure that you're not forgetting any major steps. After that, record your overall findings in the form fields at the bottom of this task.

  • 1
    Aisles
  • 2
    Loading docks
  • 3
    Offices
  • 4
    Workstations
  • 5
    Corridors
  • 6
    Reception area (if applicable)
  • 7
    Exits
  • 8
    Bathrooms

Examine fire precautions

Fire safety is vital in any location - warehouses are no exception. Hence why it's time to check the fire extinguishers and alarms across the warehouse.

Check both the location of available fire extinguishers and alarms and the time they were last inspected. Consider testing the alarms to be extra thorough.

Record what you find in the form fields below.

Make sure the warehouse is well ventilated

You also need to check that the warehouse is well ventilated to combat the general dust and fumes that accompany the equipment being used and the jobs being performed.

While this will usually involve a dedicated ventilation system, in small scale operations it might be possible to ventilate an area by just opening windows.

Record your findings using the form field below.

Ensure that sufficient drainage is installed

For areas handling liquids and those exposed to the elements it's important to have sufficient drainage installed. As such, you need to check that any such area has both drains and a method by which liquid is funneled into them.

One obvious example of this is checking the drainpipes to make sure that rain falls from the roof and into a drain. Another could be a drain installed in the main yard which is supplied by either a sloping floor or simple ditch system.

Use the form fields below to record your findings.

Check that all exits are clearly marked

In the event of an emergency all employees will need to leave the premises, and to do this they need to be able to easily see where the nearest exit is. As such, you need to make sure that all exits are clearly marked and that most areas in the warehouse have directions to the closest one.

Once you've examined the exits, note your findings using the form fields below.

Verify that all hazardous materials are labelled

No matter what you're working with, if it's hazardous in any way then you need to make sure that it's correctly labeled as such.

Although this mainly applies to stock, it's also worth looking into the equipment onsite and checking any warning labels that should be present too.

Once you've checked for warnings, note your findings using the form fields below.

Aisles:

Make sure aisles are marked

Moving on to the safety checks you need to make in specific areas of the warehouse, you need to check that all aisles are marked with some kind of identification.

In general, be on the lookout for the coding system that your company specifically uses. If an aisle isn't marked (or is marked incorrectly) this could lead to confusion with where to store certain goods. This in itself could lead to a safety hazard.

Record what you find using the form fields below.

Check that all aisles are wide enough

There's no point in having an aisle to access storage racks if it's not wide enough to let a forklift through. Hence why you now need to check that all aisles are wide enough to allow access to the relevant personnel and machinery.

Not all aisles have to be the same size (some may not need forklift access, and so can be thinner), but all need to give access to the people and machines that need it.

Record what you find using the form fields below.

Storage racks:

Inspect storage racks for damage

Storage racks are especially important to inspect for damage, since these are what you'll be using to store most of your stock. Check for any distortions in the racks, along with any cracks or obvious missing pieces and rust.

Record what you find using the form fields below.

Check that items are stacked safely

Now it's time to check that the items being stored in the racks are done so safely. This means you need to check whether the stacking method for items is consistent, and that each rack isn't overburdened (both in terms of the items' size and weight).

Check the load limit of the storage rack in question, then combine that with a visual examination and record what you find in the form field below.

Stairs:

Examine whether all stairs are uniform

Unless all stairs are reasonably uniform in height and design, sooner or later someone will trip up or fall down them, which isn't an acceptable outcome of this warehouse safety checklist. As such, you need to check every set of stairs in the warehouse to make sure that they are at least relatively uniform.

It's worth noting that the differences between one flight of stairs and another matter far less than those between stairs in the same flight. As long as each step is consistent with the last, having two sets in the building which have slightly different heights isn't the end of the world.

Note down your findings using the form fields below.

Make sure railings are installed where appropriate

Now it's time to make sure that any set of steps with more than four steps in it has a railing installed. Beyond that, railings also need to be securely installed to protect any exposed sides your stairways may have.

As always, once you have made these checks, use the form fields below to record your findings.

Loading dock:

Check vehicle inspections

Next up in this warehouse safety checklist you need to make sure that both your vehicle inspection checklist and forklift inspection checklist are being run regularly.

You don't need to actually inspect the machines yourself (that's what the other processes are for), but instead make sure that those checklists are being run and completed at the times they are intended to be.

Record your findings using the form fields below.

Inspect dock doors

Now you need to inspect the loading dock doors to make sure that they work correctly. Just test the doors to see if they work as intended, then record your findings in the form fields below.

Equipment:

Confirm that hard hats are being used in danger zones

Although something as simple as wearing a hard hat can be easy to forget, it's nonetheless a vital safety precaution for warehouse employees to take. As such, you need to confirm that hard hats are being used in areas where objects are at risk of falling.

This check should include whether the danger areas are signposted, that enough hard hats are available for the work force, and that they are actually being used when necessary.

Record your findings using the form fields below.

Make sure that all tools are being inspected regularly

The last step in this warehouse safety checklist is to check that all tools and equipment (including hard hats) are undergoing regular safety inspections. This will usually be verified through asking the floor manager, or by looking into the warehouse's process documentation.

Record the date of the last inspection in the form field below.

Inspection summary:

Give a final verdict

Congratulations - you've finished the warehouse safety checklist!

All you have to do now is give one final pass/fail grade for the warehouse's safety rating. Do this by looking at the answers you've given in previous steps. If you've given any "No" answers, chances are that work needs to be done before the warehouse's safety can be approved.

Sources:

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