Improve Your Safety Record in the Distribution Center by Overcoming Organizational Barriers to Safe Behavior
You can't put a price on safety and with these low-cost, no-cost programs distribution center and warehouse managers don't have to.
(Boonton, NJ, February 18, 2010) If you're struggling with safety issues in the DC, you're not alone, says Samuel Gualardo, founder and president of National Safety Consultants Inc. He says too many organizations have inherent barriers to safety that management isn't aware of - and if management doesn't recognize such barriers exist, they can't be overcome. Where could these barriers exist in your DC? In the February issue of Distribution Center Management, Gualardo offers readers a range of examples, along with some low- or no-cost ideas to help you overcome them.
For example, over the years, many experts have offered Distribution Center Management readers the same advice: Implement wage-based performance initiatives.
Gualardo doesn't quite see it that way. He says many of these incentive programs are actually a barrier to safety. He knows of one facility where employees are offered incentives when they meet picking and packing quotas for the day. Employees who hit the quota are not only given financial incentives, but are also allowed to take the rest of the day off.
That means there is a higher risk of accident as they rush through picking and packing. There is also a greater risk of ergonomic injury.
Does that mean you have to abandon your incentive program? Not at all; the key, Gualardo says, is ensuring the incentives are tied to both safety and productivity. For example, you can give employees an incentive if they meet or exceed their quota for the day, but don't allow them to take the rest of the day off to ensure they don't rush through the work.
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For more than 40 years, Distribution Group publications have helped distribution center and warehouse managers increase productivity, cut costs, and meet increasing customer demands. Distribution Group publishes Distribution Center Management newsletter, books and reports, and a free e-newsletter.