Supply ChainWarehousing

Warehouse Safety: Keeping Employees and Freight Secure

Many huge industries invest in lobbyists to minimize safety regulations in hopes of maximizing profits. But we don’t shy away from them. Safety is one of the pillars of the AFS value system, and we think these priorities provide a lot of value to our clients as well. But how?

Training for Compliance and Caution

Before we can tout our focus on safety beyond the industry standard, first we are due to acknowledge the importance of compliance with safety standards created by regulatory boards. With this in mind, we dedicate our first training exercises with new hires in the logistics industry to the resources created by OSHA for basic occupational safety, SQF for food handling safety, and PIT forklift training for the safe operation of and coexistence with heavy machinery—even for employees not currently dedicated to clients with these needs. This provides a great base of safety knowledge and intuition for our team to build upon.

Keeping a Focus on Careers

The solution to consistent warehouse labor shortages is creating long-term employment opportunities for lumping and rework specialists that allow them to support themselves and grow in their careers. Too many logistics companies are looking to hire young men with no experience to pay them lower wages and minimize equipment costs, but a career in the warehouse can be lucrative and safe—for employees and businesses alike—when laborers are given their due attention. This is why safety has become an AFS value. By investing in the safety of our workers as well as our clients’ freight, we can build something greater than a supply chain alone.

Hiring with Safety in Mind

At American Freight Service, we ensure that each business decision we make is steadily grounded in our value system, and hiring can be one of the most impactful business decisions for us. From the start, we select candidates with their ability to do the job safely primarily by levels of experience. We believe in creating opportunities for new workers in the logistics industry, but we defer to applicants with three years of experience or more whenever possible as they have already proven their ability to balance working quickly with working safely.

Optimizing for Flexibility

Flexibility is another cornerstone of AFS. And though many think remaining flexible and pivoting quickly is directly opposed to safety, we have found that by prioritizing flexibility in our business, we can more easily provide safety to our team and the freight they work with. Flexibility in the warehouse means having safety stock on hand in the case of an unexpected hike in demand or limitation in supply. That goes for safety equipment and laborers on hand, too. In the case of a surprise dumped load or delay in shipping schedule, we have team members with the knowledge and time available to get the job done quickly without needing to rush or cut corners on safety.

Strategizing for Safety in Numbers

One strategic feature of AFS lumping services is that we provide an on-site managed crew tailored to each job. This is a great move to load freight quickly and efficiently without fatigue delay, but it’s also a built-in safety feature. In the case that palletized product is dumped or heavier items are shifted in transit, there are extra team members nearby that can lend a hand so no one has to move something heavy alone. This keeps our teams safe and moving while providing extra support to our clients’ products.

Safety systems are often approached in the workplace as a hassle, but we know that keeping our workers and our clients’ freight safe is going to provide the best experience for them again and again. Minimizing accidents means minimizing shrinkage and labor volatility in the supply chain to create a more reliable bottom line. To learn more about how a safe warehouse can stabilize your supply chain, reach out to our team of warehouse labor experts.

Tags: Supply Chain, Warehousing