Safety in Inventory Control & Warehousing

Lisa McGuire CRSP, CEO of the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC – The solutions to the health and safety issues in manufacturing are as diverse as the industry itself. Yet the challenges are similar: MSIs, injuries resulting from forklift collisions with workers or racking, and slips and falls.

In this issue, we examine how companies adopting changes in warehousing and inventory control create safer work environments. As improvements reshape the internal organizational landscape, the number and frequency of injuries have fallen, lowering WorkSafeBC premiums and positively impacting workplace culture. The organizational environment saw real changes in worker/management relations as hourly staff recognized management commitment to safety.

This Edition also explores companies who apply Lean manufacturing, engineering and administrative solutions to health and safety issues.

Computers are improving forklift operator safety. Smaller, lighter arm-worn radio frequency identification tagging systems are reducing back strain compared to previous heavy waist-worn units.

Ergonomic solutions have introduced strategies such as regular job rotation to increase the diversity of tasks and reduce the potential for muscle strain. Other elements include frequent stretching breaks and the use of non-skid boots on slippery floors.

As companies move forward in their safety journey, they employ Kaizen to empower employees to implement continuous improvement in health and safety as well as productivity. Lean manufacturing best practices can be shared with peers on various Alliance committees to improve industry health and safety performance.

The positive actions taken are demonstrating results. According to WorkSafeBC statistics, manufacturing injury rates have trended down over the past 5 years.

The Alliance is proud to share the best health and safety practices of Member companies. While the Alliance can lay out a path for improvement, it is the commitment of Member companies and their employees that ultimately create successful results.