Setting achievable, strategic health, safety, and environment (HSE) objectives is a key component of making your warehouse safe and productive. From reducing fall instances to adequately training employees on workplace first aid, consider our top 5 warehouse safety objectives to reduce risks, minimize downtime or distractions, and encourage optimal performance on the job.

How to Set Warehouse Performance Goals

When setting warehouse performance or safety goals, avoid generalizations: You’re more likely to achieve goals that are realistic, specific, and measurable. Define actionable objectives with clear benchmarks and a set timeline against which you can assess your success. 

With these factors for setting SMART goals in mind, we’re sharing our top Warehouse Safety Objectives—and how industrial markings and other visual cues can help you improve physical safety in the workplace.

Warehouse HSE Objective Examples

1. Reduce Trips, Slips & Falls 

Trips, slips, and falls are leading causes of preventable injuries each year, and finding ways to reduce fall risks is a logical goal for any warehouse. A measurable goal to reduce fall hazards in the workplace could focus on a decreased number of falls over a given period of time (50 percent fewer falls in the following six months, for example).

Once you have your goal in mind, set a strategic plan for working toward success. This could include the following HSE objectives: 

  • Implement handrails, guardrails, toe guards, and other fixtures to prevent employees from falls from platforms.
  • Use clear visual cues to indicate potential hazards:
    • Clearly labeled custom floor signs can mark areas that are slippery when wet, where ice may occur, or where the ground is uneven
    • Hazard tape can highlight elevation changes, hidden drops, and other places where trips or falls are likely to occur
    • Digital signage can warn of changeable or temporary hazards
  • Incorporate fall prevention as part of standard safety training or conduct an annual National Safety Stand-Down to educate employees to the risks associated with workplace falls. 

2. Reduce Risks Associated With Falling Objects 

Falling object risks may be present wherever warehouse organization is insufficient or workers are simultaneously completing tasks on multiple levels. Falling objects don’t only pose risks to workers: They can also damage equipment and tools, resulting in costly repairs and project delays. 

Protect employees falling object injuries by setting specific safety objectives and actionable steps to help you achieve them. Consider a multi-pronged approach that involves educating employees and providing clear visual cues.

  • Conduct a safety audit to identify falling object risk areas and evaluate existing visual cues.
  • Host mandatory safety training on a regular basis to educate employees on potential risks.
  • Implement signage to remind workers of safety protocols and indicate specific areas associated with falling objects. X, L, and T markers and other floor-marking shapes can highlight the edges of shelving or storage areas so employees know to keep clear, while striped caution floor tape can mark the boundaries of danger zones. 
  • Use specific PPE signage to remind employees of requirements for wearing hard hats, protective eyewear, adequate footwear, and other safety gear—and to encourage adherence to the set standards.

3. Improve Safety Around Machinery

Warehouse injuries commonly occur near machinery, whether due to insufficient precautions or inadequate training. A measurable goal around machine safety could sound something like “protect against pedestrian and forklift collisions by implementing physical barriers to separate traffic.” Consider the following steps to help achieve machine safety goals specific to your facility:

  • Increase compliance with lockout/tagout procedures by using posters to remind employees of important safety steps. 
  • Clearly mark equipment storage areas with striped floor tape for safety through better organization.
  • Use custom posters or permanent signage to indicate areas that should be accessed by authorized employees only.
  • Implement personal protective equipment signage to remind employees of guidelines and requirements regarding appropriate safety gear.

4. Increase Warehouse Organization 

A well-organized warehouse increases workers’ efficiency by making it quicker to find what they need and enhances the safety of employees, managers, and visitors. When setting safety objectives around organization, consider a phased approach: Aim for a goal of organizing one area at a time until all areas have met or exceeded facility standards. Mark pathways, label pallet storage areas, and mark spaces for machinery using floor tape and other organizational visual cues. Gobos or virtual signage can be used to indicate storage areas that may change based on current projects, materials, or products.

5. Increase First Aid Awareness

In order to adhere to OSHA standards, first aid kits, eyewash stations, and AEDs should be properly labeled and identified for easy recognition and access in case of emergency. This requirement makes it easy to set SMART goals around increasing first aid awareness: Your objective should be 100 percent adherence to OSHA health and first aid standards. Visual cues can work together with employee training and other safety measures to meet your defined indicators.

  • Use floor signage or pre-cut kits to label the locations and surrounding clearance areas of first aid kits, eyewash stations, and AEDs.
  • Directional floor markings can guide employees, managers, and visitors quickly and efficiently to the closest emergency equipment. 
  • Train new employees on the location and proper use of first aid equipment, and require refresher training on a regular basis for employees in the most injury-prone departments.

Make your facility a safer place for employees and visitors by working toward these and other measurable warehouse HSE objectives. For more guides for improving safety in warehouses and industrial facilities, visit our Resource Center.