Workforce safety should be the first priority of all employers. This is especially true in a warehouse environment, where hazards such as heavy machinery, industrial racking and step ladders all have the potential to contribute to serious accidents. Safeguarding employees to the greatest extent possible is in everybody's interests.
At Contact Fire & Security, we regularly advise our customers on the most effective ways in which to achieve optimum warehouse safety. While every warehouse is different and poses its own unique challenges, we have found that the following five strategies have proven useful in most if not all cases.
Protecting your business from theft is about more than just preserving valuable stock. Many criminals will have no qualms about using violence against any warehouse staff members who are unfortunate enough to encounter them during the process of a break-in taking place. A visible and effective intruder alarm can act as a deterrent, mitigating this threat considerably. Advanced systems also include special features such as artificial mist to confuse and disorientate criminals, for example the Smoke Cloak warehouse protection system. Click here to view the SmokeCloak.
Intruder alarms can also be integrated with other aspects of a warehouse security system, for example by using a central network to connect with doors and locks so that criminals are detained within a specific section of the building where they are unable to harm members of staff.
Key Fob Access & CCTV
Installing an advanced key fob access and CCTV system enables warehouse managers and business owners to keep track of exactly who enters the building, include the entrance used and the precise time of arrival. Access can then be restricted according to when specific individuals are permitted to be on site. The same technology can be used to restrict access to areas within the building. It is also possible to prevent unauthorised staff members from operating machinery, for example if they have not undergone the relevant training.
Access can be authorised remotely, and the key fobs themselves can be tracked so that any theft or misuse is fully traceable. Used in conjunction with CCTV footage, this amounts to a comprehensive account of everything that takes place on site. This supports accountability for any misconduct, enables managers to audit and assess staff accurately, and can be used as supporting evidence to counter any compensation claims. It can also be used by HR staff to verify attendance for payroll purposes. We have many integrations to Payroll software for automatic payment of staff using the access control system as their clocking-in system.
It is an unfortunate fact that only one in four businesses recover from fire damage. Therefore, the potential benefits of an effective fire detection system which protects both staff members and the warehouse itself cannot be overstated.
The effects of a warehouse fire can be catastrophic, so it is imperative that every possible step is taken to both prevent fires and prepare for emergencies of this type. All fire exits must be highly visible, escape routes should be clearly marked, and all staff should be thoroughly briefed and given regular fire safety training. Advanced fire detection technology can be programmed to notify the emergency services in the event of a fire and can even slow the progress of a fire to an extent if linked to a sprinkler system.
Fire Alarm Paging
By using a fire alarm paging device, relevant individuals can be notified of any potential fire emergency within seconds and it’s exact location. A fire alarm pager can also prevent false alarms by enabling site managers to consult with the emergency services in order to visually verify whether or not a fire has in fact taken place before dispatching the fire brigade.
According to the UK government's Health and Safety Executive report of 2005/06, simple slips or trips are behind 26% of all major injuries in storage or warehousing. Given that physical activity is central to the way in which warehouses operate, occasional slips, trips and even falls are all but inevitable in this type of working environment. So it's vital to mitigate this as far as possible by installing rails, barriers, and non-slip floor coatings as appropriate. Rails and barriers can also be used to restrict access to heavy machinery and vehicles, and to protect stock from cosmetic damage.
CCTV cameras can be used to monitor staff activity, both to deter inappropriate behaviour which can compromise safety, and as a reference in the event that an accident should occur. Finally, ensure that all walkways and open areas are kept free of debris at all times, and that all goods are stored securely to prevent injuries due to falling objects. CCTV can intelligently identify if a walkway has been blocked or notice any unusual activity and proactively alert operational or security staff of the issue.
If you would like to learn more about how these principles can be applied to your warehouse, the team here at Contact Fire & Security would be pleased to arrange an onsite visit to fully assess your requirements. We can offer advice on every aspect of warehouse fire safety and security, including all the technology types mentioned above. We can also guide you through the process of implementing a comprehensive integrated fire and security system in order to achieve optimum protection for your warehouse.