There is no one-size-fits-all solution for worksite safety: Warehouse safety goals should evolve based on current needs and location-specific statistics. Tying success to a zero-injury rate is not realistic—and may even result in employees hiding injuries to meet the goal. Instead, look to safety records to pinpoint problem areas, then craft action plans with specific, trackable steps and measurable results.
How to Evaluate Warehouse Safety
Consider OSHA requirements when setting warehouse safety goals. Some of the most-cited OSHA violations involve hazard communication, machine guarding, fall protection, and ear and eye protection. If your location has been cited for OSHA violations, goals to improve compliance should be a high priority—they’re an ideal starting point.
First, Determine Problem Areas
To determine warehouse safety goals, look for trends in incidents, injuries, or accidents. Comb through reports over the long term—over the past few years, rather than months. This will bring attention to seasonal patterns; for example, issues that come up more often during the busiest times or with weather considerations.
Then, Set Goals
Safety goals must be realistic: Instead of aiming for the impossible goal of “zero fall injuries,” or a non-specific goal to “reduce injuries from falls,” state the specifics, and include actions needed to reach the goal. A goal must tackle a particular need, include actionable steps, and define a measure of success. Finally, make all goals time-bound by setting deadlines for success.
Track Goal Progress
Evaluate success by tracking the processes you’ve implemented and log specific results related to the changes made. Then, compare current results with historical metrics.
To evaluate success at reducing falls, track the changes made—for example, increase attendance at mandatory training sessions by X%, install additional signage and visual cues, and add physical barriers—and compare fall injuries for the current year against previous years. Some metrics to consider include:
- How many employees checked in at mandatory safety training sessions?
- How many accidents were reported in the previous five years?
- How many accidents were reported since goal-related tracking was implemented?
5 Measurable Warehouse Safety Goals
1) Reduce Vehicle-Related Accidents in the Warehouse
Goal: Reduce vehicle-related accidents by X% by improving visual communication methods in traveled areas using custom text floor marking tape.
Actions: Depending on the type of vehicle-related accidents your warehouse has on record, visual communication strategy improvements may include:
- Widening floor markings in traveled lanes to prevent collision or pallet rack impact
- Installation of physical barriers and visual cues to separate vehicular and foot traffic to reduce physical injuries
- Improving visual communication by adding signage and floor tape with text and graphics to clearly display right-of-way, yield, stop and look, or other requirements at intersections
- Use floor marking tape or kits to create highly visible crosswalks in pedestrian-crossing areas within the warehouse
2) Reduce Pinch Point Injuries
Goal: Reduce pinch point injuries by X% by implementing regular audits, employee training, and improved visual communication methods.
- Implement a daily pre-work check to ensure machinery guards are in place and undamaged
- Encourage employees to examine work areas at the beginning of each shift to re-familiarize themselves with hazards
- Implement mandatory training to ensure Lockout/Tagout protocols are followed
- Improve signage, floor markings, and hazard labeling in workspaces by displaying custom messaging and graphics warning of pinch point hazards
3) Increase Personal Protective Equipment Use
Goal: Increase the required Personal Protective Equipment usage from X% to X% with monthly spot checks.
- Ensure employees understand PPE proper fit—safety gear is more likely to be worn if it fits well
- Include clear, easy-to-understand signage, floor marking tape, and other visual cues to remind employees when they’re entering an area where PPE is required
- Provide a site-wide refresher training on PPE requirements
- Implement monthly spot checks for proper PPE use
4) Implement Floor Tape Maintenence Schedule
Goal: Improve on-site safety by ensuring the visibility and effectiveness of floor marking tape with monthly checks for tape quality and adherence.
- Implement a schedule to evaluate tape and signage quality and effectiveness
- Replace sections of tape or signage as needed to prevent extensive damage and costly repair
- Create a reporting system for employees to log tape damage
- Use a Kaizen Cart for quick and easy tape application and repair
- Maintain color standards and messaging throughout the facility even as floor tape sections are replaced
5) Improve Safety Program Success
Goal: Increase compliance with safety policies and procedures using a reward system and transparency in reporting.
- Create a reporting system for employees to notify management of hazards, concerns, or non-compliance
- Establish a rewards system for jobs well done and goals met
- Transparency is key: Display safety statistics so employees can see the progress—or areas where more attention is necessary
Safety goals aren’t simply “set it and forget it,” you must assess the results to determine success—then look for areas where improvement is still necessary. Track changes to processes, implement new goals as needs arise, and aim for continuous improvement to worksite safety and communication.
Safety goals must be realistic and measurable: Instead of simply aiming to “prevent injuries,” be specific in your objective, take actionable steps to get there, and use trackable metrics to gauge success. Look to our Resource Center for OSHA and safety information and tips.