There is no mistake that well designed warehouse layouts create better working conditions. They also promote safer practices. Optimized space is also more productive. This is important for any company that operates one or more warehouses.
Redesign if accident rates are of concern
If a warehouse is experiencing higher than normal accident rates, there is a good chance that the warehouse design needs to be audited by a professional warehouse layout design expert to ensure that:
- Aisles have enough clearance for pedestrians and forklifts.
- Materials handling equipment has enough space to operate safely and efficiently.
- Be sure racking is installed properly. Also, install rack protector products to guard against collisions and unnecessary damage. Do not ignore even small dents.
- Layout and design experts should be hired to inspect racking. This will ensure rack meets load tolerances with a safety margin.
- Older and antique equipment should be retired and replaced, even if it is with reconditioned used forklifts.
- Rack repair should be done regularly. Do this immediately if a collision has occurred. Do not risk a weakened rack system.
- All employees that use equipment are certified to operate a forklift and the fully understand safety practices as set out by OSHA or your country’s governing body.
- One or more safety officers (usually forklift trainers) need to be assigned to ensure forklift accidents do not happen and that employees comply with safety rules.
Seek a warehouse layout consultant
So if you have a concern about your warehouse design, then you should seek out a consultant, like this one on the east coast of the U.S. or this one on the west coast. If you are an employee, you should alert your manager to your safety concerns.
And so, as a warehouse manager, be sure to make existing layouts available to consultants. They will need to inspect the premises. Also, sit down and review your goals around safety, productivity, inventory and operations.
Finally, your local materials handling dealer may also have a design consultant available to discuss your needs.