Maintaining workplace safety is up on the list of top priorities for business owners. It’s easy to accomplish this when workers have gotten acclimated to the environment and detailed guidance is available.
But upholding workplace safety standards sometimes gets tricky, especially when your business is undergoing renovations. Creating safety guidelines and systems in the ever-changing environment renovations bring is tough.
As critical as they may be too long-term success, renovations in a warehouse, in particular, are dangerous.
As Important as Renovations Are, They’re Dangerous
When you start renovating your warehouse, it becomes an active construction zone. Hard hats and protective gear are a regular occurrence. So are heavy machinery, hazardous tools, taped-off areas, and work zone signs.
In addition, the way your team works is altered. Product is moved around. Supplies are in different places. And they don’t have access to many areas they used to.
As crucial as upgrades to your warehouse, safety tools, and systems is to the success of your business, renovations can create a chaotic, unsafe environment for you and your employees. They can stop your operation entirely too.
The good news is this doesn’t have to be you.
The First Step Is Informing Your Team
You can absolutely make improvements to your warehouse while maintaining safety standards and business. The first step is informing your team.
Because warehouse renovations can be so dangerous, you must tell your team about your plans and highlight the importance of safety. They need to know:
- What renovations you’re making;
- How these renovations will affect their role;
- What the construction process will look like;
- How dangerous the construction process will be;
- How long it will take to complete the renovations;
- How you will maintain operations throughout the renovations.
Aside from the above, you must talk about safety standards in detail. Discuss the following:
- The areas that will be unavailable;
- What equipment employees’ are required to wear;
- If the location of inventory, supplies, and tools will change;
- What to do if they get hurt or another safety hazard occurs;
- Where safety guidelines are written down and how to access them;
- How to go about gaining access to blocked-off areas only when necessary.
If more safety or renovation-related information arises, share it with your team.
Focus on Maintaining Function and Safety
Once you disclose details with your team, it’s time to set up your warehouse to be functional and safe during the renovations.
Everyone should understand where they’re to work and wear the necessary safety equipment. Also important is using imagery and signage to maintain warehouse safety and efficiency.
For example, put up reminders about what protective equipment to wear in different areas of the warehouse. Place a sign next to new hazards detailing what they are. Attach instructions to motorized equipment and other machinery, discussing how to use them in this new environment.
In addition, ensure you make variations of every image and sign that accommodate employees living with a disability or communicating in a different language.
Regarding keeping business going during your renovations, communicating with your employees throughout the process is critical. Everyone must work together to serve customers well throughout this chaotic time.
Hiring an experienced contractor is also a good idea to ensure high-quality renovations are completed as quickly as possible. Also, make sure they and you are insured in case something happens.
Ensuring safety is a top priority during renovations is vital. As chaotic as they can sometimes be, it’s no excuse for anyone to get hurt or for business to stall. Consider the tips and advice provided to maintain workplace safety standards and a thriving business throughout the renovation process.