Anyone who has been to Costco or any other warehouse style wholesale store has been around during the stocking process, or at least seen the equipment used for stocking. With high shelves and huge pallets, there is always a chance for accidents to occur. Because of this, forklift safety has to be taken even more serious than ever.
Because stores such as these aren’t all day every day as some other stores, the ideal plan would be to remove boxes from high shelves after hours, only using this equipment at this time. Unfortunately, in many cases it is hard to predict exactly how much of an item will be needed over the course of the day. Rather than panicking in these situations, most warehouses have specific plans set in place and are prepared. Whether you are an employee of these businesses, or a consumer, it is important to be aware of these procedures, and how to stay safe during the process.
The first and by foremost important thing when using equipment such as this is to be prepared for any situation. Those using the forklift, or other machines to move pallets around should be aware of the customers. Depending on how busy a day it is, there may be more customers than is safe to run the equipment in a certain area.
While the employees should be aware of the customers, it is also crucial for the customers to pay attention to what is going on around them. Don’t just walk aimlessly in front of heavy equipment while it is in use. If you see a forklift in one aisle, continue your shopping down a different one for a while until it clears out.
Know the equipment
Not only is it unsafe to drive a forklift without the proper certification, it is illegal, and can cause more problems than you realize. There are many different things about a forklift that are important to know before using it, so be sure that you are up to date on all of them.
Even if you have your certification, be smart around warehouse equipment. Don’t abuse the right, and don’t make a game out of it. Block off the area you are working in to keep people away from unsafe places.
Use the equipment for its designated purpose only. Although this may not seem as fun to some, it is crucial for keeping everybody safe. Costco and other stores like this have policies put into place to avoid dangerous situations from arising. Don’t let yourself be part of any of these pranks gone wrong. In most warehouse settings such as this, the store will provide an extra person when using the heavy equipment. This will not only keep them safe, but prevent shoppers from entering dangerous zones.
When working in a wholesale store, or even just shopping there, pay attention to the heavy equipment used. It will take less time to just stop and be cautious rather than making unreasonable decisions. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, making sure to keep safe in these settings.
Cassie writes for Hoj Engineering on staying safe in the warehouse. She has also written on organizing your inventory, and how to run your warehouse efficiently.