Housekeeping and Lighting in Depots – Health and Safety

Every year there are accidents or incidents that are caused by a lack of lighting and poor housekeeping and again most of these are avoidable. 

LIGHTING – What Do You Need to Consider?

When setting up your site, or making changes, consider the layout of your building, loading bays and parking areas.  Pay particular attention to areas where pedestrians and vehicles pathways are going to have to cross and ensure that these areas are adequately lit so everyone can see each other clearly.   

Loading bays will be one area that will be frequented by both pedestrians and vehicles and depending on the size of your workforce / rate of deliveries has the potential to be a very busy area where accidents can easily occur. Being struck by a reversing or moving vehicle is one of the main causes of accidents or incidents in a yard area. Ensure the lighting in this area provides cover of the whole area and that any pedestrians within the area (which should be limited to essential staff only) are wearing hi vis clothing.

If you have a staff parking area, ensure that the lighting covers this area for staff safety as they arrive at work or return to their vehicle at the end of the shift (particularly if you have staff working a night shift or starting early in the morning).  This will ensure staff can see if there are any hazards on the ground i.e. ice, potholes, waste. It will also reduce security risks from potential break in’s to cars or thefts from persons. 

When carrying out pre-use vehicle checks, staff need to be in an area with adequate lighting to check the vehicle over fully.  As well as providing well-lit areas, it is advisable to provide workers with a torch for additional lighting to check the underside of vehicles. 

HOUSEKEEPING – What Do You Need To Consider?

Ensure there are procedures in place for the storage of goods and removal of waste so that it does not cause an obstruction.

Ensure that pedestrian walkways, storage areas and traffic routes are regularly cleaned, signed and marked out.

Storage areas need to be clearly designated and marked out and any racking systems need to be properly designed and installed, ensuring they can take the load of goods that are being stored. Racking also needs to be protected if there is a chance it can be struck by a forklift. Racking systems should be inspected for damage on a regular basis. 

Ensure that pedestrian walkways and traffic routes are kept clear and clean.  Regular depot inspections (both inside and outside) should be carried out to ensure all pedestrian and traffic routes are free from obstructions and damage to flooring, and that markings are clearly visible.   Any defects that are found, need to be rectified as soon as possible and warning signage should be put in place until repairs can be carried out.  In particular all emergency exit routes need to be kept clear at all times. 

Staff should be issued with non-slip safety footwear to help reduce the risk of them slipping over.  If a walkway is undergoing cleaning or maintenance then signage should be in place and staff should be informed to reduce the risk of accidents. 

Aspects of health and safety training should always be covered based on your work activities to show due diligence and competence. Minimum requirements are training modules like manual handing, COSHH, health and safety for managers and employees.

If you need any help or advice, please get in touch through or by calling 0345 9001312.

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