The security in warehouses is an essential aspect to work with the lowest possible risk and have security control of all objects, machines and elements found within a workspace.
When we talk about security in warehouses it is very important to have a complete vision of the concept: the company must guarantee both anti-theft security but also prevent all kinds of workplace accidents. The physical safety of your own employees should be one of your priorities.
From Australian workplace safety we have collected in this article the different methods and keys to follow to protect your warehouse or business.
Basic rules for warehouse security
Security is the certainty that something is free from danger, damage or risk. A warehouse is a place, building or part of it that is used to deposit or keep a large number of articles, products or merchandise.
Normally, when we talk about warehouses we think of logistics companies, but there are many companies that may have a small warehouse in their facilities. The larger the warehouse, the more security risks can be detected since the infrastructures are much larger.
In Australia, the legislation covers a series of basic standards for warehouse security. The objective of these regulations is to guarantee the integrity of the employees, so it is important that depending on the type of warehouse and the type of product stored, a series of regulations or others are taken into account.
All these standards are collected and endorsed by different laws or official documents:
- The Australian Constitution, which obliges the public powers to work on policies to protect the health of employees.
- The Workers' Statute, which indicates the obligations on the part of employers, technicians and employees of different commands with regard to the prevention of occupational hazards.
The Occupational Risk Prevention Law, published in 1995, seeks to promote the safety and health of workers through the application of measures and activities necessary for risk prevention.
Essential and key aspects to guarantee warehouse safety
1. Install surveillance cameras
It is important to have a closed video system or lights with a motion sensor. These tools must be placed at key points, such as the various entrances and exits of the warehouse. Obviously, those areas where high-value products are stored also require this type of vigilance.
2. Secures the inputs and outputs of the warehouse
The entrances to the warehouse must be controlled by a security protocol. Normally, any material input or output operation requires authorized documentation and different controls. In turn, the entry of external persons who do not have the necessary allocation should be prohibited.
Thanks to technology, security sensors can be installed on exterior doors to know when a door or window opens or closes.
In turn, it is necessary to have exhaustive control over these access points. Safety regulations establish that exits and emergency evacuation points are free of obstacles and visible at all times. In turn, it is important that an evacuation protocol be established.
3. Conduct a risk assessment to prevent
Risk assessment is one of the fundamental aspects to prevent workplace accidents. If this step is not carried out, the action protocols for security cannot be established.
Five key elements should be observed from the company's management:
- Identify the risks to which employees are exposed.
- Assess these risks.
- Establish an action protocol with the necessary preventive measures.
- Comply with the measurements.
- Monitoring and review of these actions.
This type of evaluation should be done periodically. In turn, the enclosure must have all the necessary materials to be able to prevent dangerous situations or accidents. We refer to fire extinguishers and security elements such as alarms, fire hoses ... etc.
The number of these elements is controlled by the different security regulations depending on the size of the warehouse.
4. Complies with the shelving and ladder regulations
The storage facilities in metal racks allow to store products grouped on pallets at different heights. This instrument is essential in any warehouse, since it is important to be able to take advantage of as much space as possible. However, this type of storage exposes personnel to different risks that must be controlled by the company.
In addition, the warehouse must respect the minimum width and distance between racks. In all warehouses, fiber or aluminum ladders are used to access the shelves, such as those we offer at Verge Safety Barriers.
The fiber warehouse ladders have a safety platform made of fiberglass, insulating against electrical and thermal agents. In turn, its antimagnetic and moisture resistant characteristic is important to prevent accidents.
These ladders must comply with the provisions of the UNE-EN 131-7 standard for moving ladders. Some of the aspects dealt with in the standard establish that the platform cannot exceed 5 meters in height on the escalators or the surface of the platform does not exceed 1 square meter.
It is also important to have a control, management and report of damages in the racks establishing an internal procedure for the periodic control of this type of support.
5. Control the lighting and ventilation of the warehouse
When natural lighting is not enough, the necessary light points must be added so that the warehouse is fully illuminated.
On the other hand, ventilation prevents odors and harmful environments from accumulating. In the event that toxic products are handled, specific regulations must be complied with.
6. Train your employees
It is useless to have a complete occupational safety system if your staff is not involved and knows all the procedures to follow.
Thus, it is important to inform the operators in detail on how to use each of the machines and instruments correctly; train employees on facilities and provide comprehensive and up-to-date safety manuals.
7. Complies with regulations on handling machinery
If different types of machinery are handled within the warehouse, the speed limit of the same must be controlled and the use of this must be fully understood. Also, the weight of the cargo that is transported cannot exceed the maximum weight, which will depend on the type of warehouse and machines used.
To control security, it is recommended:
- Avoid crossings in the goods journey. This is achieved by creating an exclusive route for movements in the warehouse.
- Respect speed limits and safety distances.
Carry a balanced load depending on the type of machine.
Australian Workplace Safety is a helpful and engaging online magazine that covers work health and safety, wellbeing of employees, workers, and other people.
We include regular articles to help with practical guidance and to help you as business owners make improvements around your workplace to help benefit everyone involved in your organisation employees as well as your customers. If you would like to be featured in our online magazine, please submit your topic by contacting us today!