Maintaining a safe and secure warehouse is essential to protect your employees and your goods. Heavy lifting, the use of machinery, and exposure to hazardous materials are just a few of the tasks that may be hazardous to your warehouse employees. You should carry out in-depth inspections and reinforce safety regulations to guarantee that staff operates safely and productively.
Establishing warehouse safety measures is crucial. It could be a bit difficult to keep track of all the aspects that need to be considered. We provide some warehouse safety guidelines here that will provide employee protection.
What are warehouse inspections, and why are they necessary?
Inspections of the warehouse are planned and documented safety processes that are carried out to confirm the ongoing and future safety of the workers, the security of the inventory, and the seamless operation of the warehouse’s capacity. Inspections are a detailed examination of how all activities are carried out by testing for any potential risks, analyzing the operation of the digital warehouse, and examining the various order fulfillment procedures.
In-depth warehouse inspections need to be performed at least once every three months, if not more frequently, depending on the size of the warehouse and the resources inside. These checks assist in locating vulnerabilities and waste of resources that could otherwise go undetected. While meticulous attention to detail requires a lot of effort, it pays off in the long run by ensuring worker and equipment safety and increasing dock-to-stock productivity.
Checklist of requirements for a warehouse inspection
1. Inspection of cleanliness and sanitation
Although cleanliness has always been important and at the top of the list, it has gained top attention as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Maintaining your employees’ health and safety while preventing the spread of viruses requires daily (or even hourly) cleanliness and sanitation checks. A cleanliness inspection determines whether specific protocols are being followed, such as
- Instructions are posted to enforce fundamental hygiene practices such as washing hands, wearing masks, etc.
- Gathering places like break rooms or cafeterias are cleaned and sanitized.
- Employees have received appropriate training in handling hazardous materials.
- Employees are adhering to equipment sanitization guidelines.
- Workstations are cleaned between each shift.
- Cleaning materials are regularly replenished.
- Bathrooms are cleaned every day or as frequently as required.
2. Inspection of waste disposal and storage
Waste can pose a safety risk, particularly when combustible, poisonous, infectious, gaseous, and caustic compounds are involved. When disposing of liquid products, ensure they are done so safely and in the proper containers to prevent spills.
Your waste storage and disposal procedures should adhere to the rules established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
3. Inspection of the warehouse receiving process
Regular inspections of your warehouse receiving procedure are also necessary to stop or minimize inventory shrinkage. One aspect of a warehouse receiving inspection is educating staff to carefully examine crucial components of each delivery, such as
- Verifying the quantity received corresponds to the information on the purchase order,
- Ensuring that the product seals are untampered, and
- Checking the SKUs or product codes.
It takes time to count and inspect the stock. Some warehouse employees prefer to count boxes or pallets rather than individual things, or they decide to carry out frequent random inspections in order to avoid spending hours at the loading dock. You can further train your workforce on receiving and storing inventory to simplify the later inspection process.
4. Product inspection under FDA supervision
For retailers who offer perishable goods or goods that may raise safety concerns if improperly regulated (e.g., anything that is consumed or applied to the skin), warehouse inspections are especially crucial.
The warehouses in which these products are stored must adhere to FDA standards, which the FDA enforces.
Here are some examples of product categories that the FDA regulates:
- Food and beverages,
- Household cleaning supplies,
- Medical supplies,
- Medical grade electronic devices,
- Vitamins and supplements, and
You need to register your facilities with the FDA and get your inspections approved in order to be recognized as an “FDA-certified” warehouse.
5. Inventory checks
Inventory losses in the warehouse can occur because of internal theft, inconsistent record keeping, disorganization, shoddy warehouse architecture, or even vendor fraud. These kinds of losses can be discovered during inventory inspections, also known as inventory audits.
You can find inventory shrinkage by conducting quarterly inventory audits and inspections. Make sure your inventory system is set up for precise inventory counts to aid in this process. You’ll be able to track inconsistencies and look into the causes of problems if your inventory is tracked properly.
Having a cloud-based inventory management solution is helpful regardless of whether you run your warehouse yourself or outsource your needs to 3PL companies. A real-time inventory management monitoring system, for instance, can track inventory performance over time and guarantee that every item is accounted for.
Best practices for warehouse inspection
Follow the best practices for warehouse inspections including:
- Regularly inspect the warehouse — this is vital to identify issues before they arise and to stay informed about ongoing safety improvements. To make sure you don’t overlook any crucial tasks, employ an updated warehouse safety checklist.
- Train often — regular training and refresher sessions are the greatest approaches to ensure that everyone is cooperating for the highest level of safety. Everyone will be more likely to abide by the rules if they are aware of them.
- Evaluate inspection information and implement necessary revisions — examine your inventory management technique for any steps that need to be changed or removed and ensure your digital inventory management solutions are up to date.
- Maintain a spotless workplace — debris and rubbish on the floor might cause a lot of issues. Keeping the area clean keeps your forklifts operating in a safe atmosphere and helps reduce trips and falls.
- Verify the safety measures — the condition of the safety equipment must be continually checked. Speak with the warehouse staff to acquire their opinion on the workplace and gain insight into how the present workflow may be made even better.
It is also advisable to keep track of crucial warehouse KPIs that would provide computable data to find irregularities.
How the right WMS helps with warehouse inspections
If you manage your own warehouse, you require a system that not only identifies the location of any inventory unit but also makes it simple to monitor real inventory counts.
DEAR has a best-in-class warehouse management system (WMS) that helps brands manage inventory in real time, reduce the need for picking, packing, and shipping oversight, and streamline operations with ease.
With DEAR, brands can even leverage purchasing services, inventory management, omnichannel order management, and high-end POS solutions.
Schedule a call with our experts to know more!