When you have a freight business that deals with the transportation of large quantities of items, it’s important that you follow the appropriate safety regulations. Whether you’re transporting goods long or short-haul, you need your processes to be as safe as possible.
Without doing so, not only are you putting your staff at risk but also the goods that you’re transporting. If you want to be successful both now and in the future, you need to monitor and maintain your safety processes every time one of your ships/lorries/planes is en route.
1. Invest in Safety Training
To ensure that all of your staff are following industry safety regulations, consider investing in regular safety training for them. This is particularly important if they need to transport heavy goods or hazardous material. For the latter, specialised hazardous materials shipping training will help each member of staff how to label each container, transport and move them safely and correctly once they have reached their final destination.
2. Ensure That Each Staff Member is Wearing Protection Equipment
When moving cargo from one place to another, it’s vital that each of your staff wear appropriate protective equipment. From safety helmets to shoes and harnesses, it will ensure that they are kept safe. Working without certain protective equipment puts their life at risk – so limit the possibility of any incidents by persuading them to wear it.
3. Maintain Machinery and Equipment
Equipment and machinery wear out over time – it’s just a fact of life. And when this happens, it can increase the chance of incidents occurring. To make sure this doesn’t happen, ensure that your staff test and maintain the equipment and machinery regularly.
And if something isn’t right, persuade them to file a report stating its faults. The machinery or equipment can then either be fixed and repurposed or replaced accordingly.
4. Make Sure That Every Employee Knows How To Operate Lifting Equipment
As a freight business, each member of staff who are dealing with the cargo needs to know the correct way to use it. Lifting equipment such as forklifts, cranes, hooks, wire rope slings and wire ropes are essential within the industry, and without the knowledge of how to operate them correctly, it can result in a dangerous work environment.
To guarantee that they know how to use this, consider investing in training, as well as on-going testing. You don’t want to put anyone’s lives in jeopardy just because you didn’t fully train your employees on how to use it.
5. Secure All Cargo Correctly
It is of paramount importance that all of the cargo is secured each time that it needs to be transported. A safe and secure cargo will guarantee a smooth journey. Loose items, however, can prove to be very dangerous – resulting in a serious injury. To prevent this from happening, make sure that each staff member carries out a safety checklist every time that they are transporting goods.
By doing this, you will have the peace of mind that every freight that goes out is safe and secure. Not only will this protect your staff, but it will also prevent any damage to the goods – which could cost your company millions in damage.
6. Persuade Them To Contact A Supervisor If There Are Any Issues
Persuade each of your staff to contact their supervisor if they ever feel as though the safety within the work environment is compromised. No matter what the risk, whether it’s small or big, it should be reported. Even if it feels very minor, ignoring it could result in a hazardous environment for everyone in the crew.
7. Never Handle Cargo in Poor Visibility
This is a key safety tip that you should keep in mind – whether you’re a startup freight business or you’ve been operating within the industry for many years. It’s critical that your staff never handles cargo when the weather is poor.
The moment that they feel as though visibility is compromised, it’s vital that they assess the situation and make appropriate changes if necessary. Although you can, of course, take the step of improving the lighting, if there is improper lighting, however it could lead to serious accidents.
8. Close Supervision of Bulk Cargo
When handling bulk cargo, it’s vital that there is close supervision over it. Usually, there is a large number of people involved in such operations – from those who are in the hatch to those involved in getting the cargo in and out of it.
To guarantee safety (or help to decrease the chance of any incidents occurring), make sure that you do this too. Having a large team in charge of this will help to make this safer, and will give you the peace of mind that it’s all being handled as it should.
9. Never Interfere With Safety Procedures
Not only should you ensure that all of the crew are aware of how to properly handle cargo, but they should not interfere with any of the safety procedures when in transit. By altering the function of equipment or interfering with devices, it puts not only them but others at risk of being injured.
What about security? Conduct Thorough Background Checks
Not only will you want to make the environment safe for your workers, but you want to ensure that your business is safe from potential theft. Every day, thousands of pounds of cargo is stolen – and often, it’s done by those inside the business as they have direct access to the shipments.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to perform thorough criminal and background checks on each of your drivers before hiring them.
So, there you go! Those are some tips on how to improve the safety of your freight business. Of course, the precautionary steps that you take are up to you. But it’s important to simply not ignore them – you want your employees to be and the goods to be as safe as possible after all.