Your Safety Practices Shared & Our Safety Practice Winner


Marty here again with Warehouse and Operations as a Career! You know sometimes we kind of get focused on the definition of a word and we can forget what all it really can entail and I think Safety is one of those words for us.  I asked several people, in my travels last week “What does Safety mean to you”, and I received some really good, impressive actually, answers.  The thing I noticed was the answers were things that directly affected the individual.  Order Selectors mentioned things like, turning in my pre-shift equipment reports, slowing down when approaching the docks or coming out of the aisles, giving the forklift drivers plenty of room, Oh, and honking my horn, I heard a lot of Honking my horn.  Speaking with Forklift Operators I heard “Making eye contact with pedestrians and other equipment operators, placing my forks properly under loads, watching the tail end of my lift turning, slowing down on docks and at cross aisles, and again plenty about honking my horn.  Of course, honking our horns is pretty much drilled into us as equipment operators, every training class I’ve ever seen.  In a couple of production facilities, it was things like, sheathing my blades properly, checking out my hand tools before using them and keeping my work stations clean and Safe.  A clean work station is so important in that kind of environment, I really liked that one.   In Three different facilities hydration was mentioned, I was quite impressed with those teams.  Actually, I was thrilled and impressed with every person I spoke with, Safety was on their minds and they could speak to it without hesitation.  But I noticed every answer, although, every answer was spot on, dealt with the individuals position or task and was very specific to what they did.  I know if I had spent more time with them the list they presented to me would have been much longer and I’m so glad everything mentioned dealt with their personal safety and the safety of others, but back to my point, I think sometimes the broader meanings escape us, like with Safety, so today I’ve asked Joe, our WAOC Safety go to Official to call in today and help us out a bit, pointing out some of the broader, I don’t know maybe some broader definition’s, points or things we don’t think of every day.

Joe, Thanks for calling in today, how have you been Sir?

JOE –  Great, it’s always a pleasure to be here with ya.

One thing I’ve always thought of when I think of Safety are our Warehouse Policies and Procedures.  Every facility has them to one degree or another.  Several are pretty standard for Auditing, wither 3rd party auditing preparing us for company, customer or regulatory audits are things like our GMP’s or General Manufacturing Practices, you know like: No food or drinks in the warehouse, No gum chewing, No Spitting on the floor or in trash receptacle’s, No glass containers brought into the work areas, No painted fingernails or jewelry of any kind etc.  Those are safety practices too correct? And are things we should all have in the forefront of our minds!

JOE –  Marty all rules put in place are there for a reason. Most warehouse and manufacturing facilities have some kind of preshift meeting happening. During these is a time for leaders to also review the troops if you will, This is an opportunity to make sure everyone is wearing their PPE, dress codes are met, any required announcements or info that needs to be passed along, make sure no one has on anything that can get lost in the product etc… in a warehouse environment this will be when the safety talks for equipment and PPE will also be given, cell phones are real no-no with equipment operators especially.

Almost every type of facility dealing with Inbound freight or trucks should be using some type of documentation for inspecting trailers or containers bumping their docks.  Quick true story, many years ago I heard about a guy opening his dock door and rolling up his trailer door and spotting a Cat running out of the trailer and across the dock, I guess it had gotten locked in there during the loading process.  Luckily the animal was easy to catch, they actually called the city animal control to come pick it up,.  Anyway, in some instances we’ll need to record the seal numbers, documenting no one has added anything to the load or taken anything from the trailer, and recording temperatures if we’re dealing with refrigerated freight.  And it’s probably important to check the floors or sides of the trailer for weakness or holes anyway.  These are all safety practices as well!

JOE – Part of those simple check Marty save us from frivolous liabilities. We already work hard we don’t need extra stress and more problems at work. Basic common-sense checks can help more than your safety at times.

We asked for some of your, our listeners actual Safety Practices from your Facilities or some Safety Practices you would like to see at your facilities a couple of weeks or episodes ago and I wanted to go over a few of those thoughts as well!  I was quite impressed with the positions or tasks and the ideas brought up.  That’s really what made me thing of the whole broader definition thing, anyway, let’s see, I’ll read off a few thoughts:

From a payroll associate with a large staffing agency – She states “I do payroll for about 8+ hours at a desk with a high volume of phone calls and documents that I print to view and or submit into reports. I have two screens for my computer and a wireless keyboard. While working your average payroll shift things can get pretty busy and your work load increases tremendously so you have to be cautious with those important documents. I think lids on cups should be strongly suggested so drinks can’t easily be spilled on the electronics or the important papers that are to be submitted to upper management or customers.”

She also mentioned – “Another important point I consider safety in my work environment is the safety in more of a clerical way with data you read or work on. We deal with confidential information all the time and or have to work with personal information such as addresses etc & we have to safely secure and store the documents so others don’t have access to them or see them that aren’t authorized to that info.
Thank you and I hope I my practices help’s someone in a position or work environment like mine.”

A great example of a safety practice and one many of us would not have even considered to link to the word Safety.  I really liked that one.

A great practice from a Production environment was ‘each day an associate brings up a topic and gives the 2 to 3 min start up meeting, rotating through the shift monthly. Everyone votes on the best topic of the week and the winner gets to leave 2 hours early on Friday with the 2 hours paid!  A great Safety incentive and it encourages everyone to participate.

Another incentive type practice is from a distribution warehouse, “when everyone turns in their pre-trip equipment reports, wears their safety vests & shows up with their steel toes and other assigned ppe’s for the entire month each shift is awarded with a Pizza Party for lunch.


Some quick ideas, thoughts and comments were:

“We have very strong GMP’s”

“Sanitation and picking up our broken wood”

“We leave our cell phones in our lockers so we don’t use them”

“Never drive our jacks fast on the dock up front or around people”

“Honk our horn’s when turning our pallet jacks or coming out of a row”

“Always look before moving the first inch”

“We cannot ever jump out of a dock door from the warehouse”

“We stretch and do jumping jacks before we start every day”


These are some Outstanding Practices and I want to thank everyone for sharing them with us here at WAOC & thank you for the emails, we had a lot of fun & learned a lot from them!

JOE – The thing about safety practices is that they are good……as long as you do them!! Remember all things have reason whether its blatantly apparent or not. Just because at the time you don’t realize or see the need it is there. Being safe is a full-time job and starts with US!!

Well I imagine everyone is wondering about the drawing, I guess now is the perfect time slot to pull the winner.  What you think?  What we’ve done is place everyone’s name into a Tupperware freezer container, we’re a bit low budget around here, and I’m pulling one slip or name out right now.  And the winner is Joselinne, and Joselinne lives and works in Dallas, Texas. Actually, she is the individual that sent in the example we spoke of earlier.  I think it’s great that we have listeners across the board, upstairs and downstairs in the Industry.  Joe Being a Safety Officer I guess you can relate to all kinds of Safety Practices we need to be mindful of in an Office environment.


Joselinne pointed out two great ones.  I’ve seen Safety Managers check things like extension cords, checking for overloaded outlets, things like that.  Actually I had one spot a small fish aquarium in the Customer Service area once and made them remove it due to the extension cord being a trip hazard and the glass tank having too much water around the electronics and such!


Well Congratulations _Joselinne your $50.00 gift card will be on its way to you tomorrow and we here at WAOC really appreciates you listening to our Show and thanks for participating with your Safety Practices!

That was a lot of fun, we’ll have to do that again sometime real soon.

So Joe I guess we should get back on topic here, give us some of those maybe kind of uncommon Safety Practices, things not every Distribution, production or manufacturing worker would think of right off the bat!


Common and Alternative Work Safety Practices

The most common, Audits.

Whether for one of the large audit houses that specialize in food safety, or construction or material handling these forms of audits are typically pre-inspections for Annual or Semi-Annual known upcoming audits. These demonstrate how the day to day is actually run and a good snap shot of where your facility is with different safety items/issues at any given time.


Another common, Daily Pre-Inspections

Anyone familiar with PIT operations should be familiar with this as this is one of the daily things needed BEFORE you operate any type of PIT. This directly addresses any immediate safety issues with the machine that is about to be driven/operated in close proximity to pedestrians and other PIT vehicles.


Receiving Inspections

When food items are brought in for delivery into a temperature controlled environment

Very good points and subjects Joe!

You know we are always saying how Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and how it’s important to follow directions and rules, certainly it is, but today’s discussion helped remind me that my focus, really being aware of my environment and how it can really present dangers or possible situations I’ve never really thought about!

Joe thanks for phoning in today, as always, we enjoyed the visit and the points you gave us to ponder!


And I’d like to Thank those that participated today by sharing their examples and thoughts with our group, it’s encouraging and exciting to see so much interest in the Practice of Safety!

And as always, a genuine Thanks to everyone listening in each week, we really appreciate you and enjoying learning from our guest and each other!

Until next Thursday, lets practice the old adage Think Safe Be Safe, and I’d like to add Practice Safe!

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