6 Tips to Improve Manual Handling and Material Handling Practices at Warehouses
Good materials handling practices keep employees and packages safe. They can also improve supply management by encouraging manual handlers to document unusual orders and speed up delivery times. Keep your warehouse running smoothly with these best practices for manual handling:
- Use the right toolset – Manual handling may require casters, hand trucks, or multi-wheeled carts. Evaluate the types of material your handlers will be working with and match them to the most effective tool. Encourage handlers to use the right tool for the job every time.
- Keep information handy – Keep tips and pointers laminated and posted throughout the warehouse. If a worker has a question, a quick reference sheet can point them in the right direction so that they use the right tool for the job and don’t waste time hunting down a manager. Encourage workers to use the information whenever they need it, instead of requiring them to recall the contents of a full handbook.
- Place shipments strategically – Put shipments that will be manually handled in an easy-to-access location. Avoid placements that will require handlers to bend down or reach overhead. Repetitive motion injuries can become debilitating for manual workers.
- Hold a handling workshop – Some workers may think they are using their knees to lift, but are really straining their backs. Develop a mandatory workshop for workers to practice good materials handling skills from accessing packages to using the right tools. The simple refresher course can help handlers learn new ways to stay safe and help managers identify individuals who should avoid certain tasks.
- Create traffic lanes – Keep the flow of shipments moving by having outgoing and ingoing lanes. If your warehouse has limited space, use road traffic rules or develop consistent traveling rules to prevent accidents.
- Update all handling facilitators as necessary – Make sure all dock boards, hand trucks, and other tools are functioning appropriately at all times. Wobbling wheels, overuse, and other damage can turn facilitating tools into a time-waster, so invest in repairs and replacements to help handlers keep moving.
Along with comprehensive documentation practices, good manual handling policies can help your warehouse avoid worker accidents and improve the flow of internal traffic. Over time, tweaks in your daily operations can lead to better attendance and productivity levels and a higher profit margin. Learn more about warehousing solutions to keep your warehouse highly productive by contacting Warehouse1 today.