Warehouses are very busy places, with forklift trucks whizzing around and people going from place to place in the process of their work, which does present many safety issues. One must have a good traffic management plan in place in order to minimise the risk of accidents occurring and here are a few tips to help you create a safe and reliable traffic management plan.
- Define all vehicle routes – You might only have forklifts running in your facility, in which case you need to plot all the routes (and turns) that a forklift might make. If trucks are backing up to loading bays, this needs to be included. Calculate paths that a forklift can comfortably stay within and this will form the basis of your route plan.
- Signage – Safety signage is there to remind staff and research tells us that the presence of signage reduces the risk of accident. You need to think about correct placement, at eye level and clearly visible.
- Floor markings – Floor markings can be inset under the epoxy resin, as seen in the stunning epoxy floors in Adelaide garages that we see on a daily basis.
- Pedestrian pathways – Just as your forklifts need a route, so do pedestrians and a pathway within yellow lines would be perfect for this. Make sure that the floor markings are accurate and add arrow signage at corners.
- Pedestrian crossings – While it is best to keep pedestrian crossings to a minimum, they must be present and black-white lines is the standard for this kind of crossing, which everyone understands. Signs warning pedestrians they are approaching a vehicle route are essential and should be placed at eye level.
- No-Go zones – If you have areas where people should avoid, they need to be floor-marked as Do Not Enter areas. Red diagonal lines are a suitable design to remind people to stay out of the area, or a big red cross on a light background.
- Staff training – An essential aspect of safety in the workplace is staff training and the Australian government’s safe work policy states that employees should be trained regarding safe working practices and understanding the floor plan and regulations when moving around. Risk assessment techniques need to be taught and safe practices implemented and a monthly safety meeting is a great idea; you could tag an extra 30 minutes at the end of your regular staff meeting, to save time.
- Protective equipment – Aside from PPE for the pandemic, eye protection and safety hats might be required, depending on the nature of the work. Bollards are essential and should be on hand wherever needed, while permanent guiderails offer support.
Once you have a good traffic management plan in place, your workplace has the foundations for safe work.