eCommerce Warehouse Inspection: 5 Best Practices to Follow

Gracie Tidwell
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    When you enter an eCommerce warehouse, you usually expect a high level of safety. But what is warehouse safety? And how can a warehouse manager make sure their facilities are up to snuff? 

    Warehouse inspections help ensure safety, and they keep your staff safe from harm.

    Whether you run a smart warehouse or a traditional one, it’s always a good idea to conduct warehouse inspections. 

    Having regular warehouse inspections is one of the most important things to do when working in warehousing. There are a few best practices to follow so that your eCommerce fulfillment runs smoothly. 

    eCommerce Warehouse: Why Are Inspections Important?

    Even though your products sell online, safety is a top priority of any brick and mortar warehouse. Whether you’re warehousing gourmet popcorn or wholesale coffee, the safety of your employees and your inventory is crucial. 

    Warehouses can be dangerous. There’s often heavy machinery and lots of moving parts. If left unchecked, there are many hazards that can form.

    Regular warehouse inspections are important to conduct so you can make sure equipment works properly. Inspections can also help you check that you have a safe and efficient warehouse layout

    There are some common hazards in warehouses that you should make sure you're aware of. These include slipping hazards, chemical exposure, and fires. Forklift accidents are one of the most common ways employees get injured in warehouses. 

    Beyond internal warehouse inspections, you may experience an inspection by authorities. Why would a federal inspection agencies want to inspect your warehouse? There are a few reasons. Customers, staff, or other companies can report you if they don’t think you are following regulations. 

    If you don’t pass an inspection from authorities, there are consequences such as fines and penalties. In some cases, warehouses that don’t pass inspections get shut down.  

    Key Takeaway: Warehouse inspections can help you avoid injuries, and even fatalities, in your eCommerce warehouse. Make sure you follow federal regulations to ensure safety. A warehouse management guide can help you know what to look out for. 
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    5 Best Practices of Warehouse Inspections

    Now you know why warehouse inspections are so important for your eCommerce warehouse. You are likely wondering how to conduct inspections in the best way. Here are 5 of the best practices for you to ace your eCommerce warehouse inspections.

    1. Regular Inspections

    One of the best ways to avoid accidents in your eCommerce warehouse is by having regular inspections. If left unchecked for too long, warehouses can become dangerous. 

    Different areas and equipment may need to be checked on a different basis. Some equipment might need to be inspected on a daily or weekly basis to make sure it’s working properly. Other inspections can take place less frequently. 

    1. Follow Regulations

    Staying up to date with official regulations and procedures is another best practice for your eCommerce warehouse. 

    Government organizations have many regulations in place to try and improve workplace safety. They outline things like necessary safety equipment. 

    The best way to pass inspections is to make sure you are following procedures. There may be other local regulations you need to follow as well. It's a good idea to hold your warehouse to an even higher safety standard than required in order to ensure safety.

    Making a list of the federal regulations and procedures is a good place to start when conducting a warehouse inspection. Warehouse inspections will be easier and faster if you make sure to keep up to date with everything. 

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    1. Collect Data

    Another good practice when conducting inspections is to collect data. Data about your warehouse operations can help you in many ways. 

    Data can help you notice trends in your warehouse, whether good or bad. For example, you could notice that a certain piece of equipment regularly doesn’t meet standards. This can lead you to realize it's time to replace it. AI in eCommerce warehouses can help organize and forecast data about your safety practices. 

    Data about your warehouse and eCommerce analytics can be very beneficial for your business. 

    Having accurate and regularly collected data can also help you in the event of an OSHA inspection. It’s a good practice to have data and checklists proving that your warehouse is up to standards. You can use data to protect you from any OSHA fines, as well as any other liabilities or lawsuits that may occur.

    There are many different softwares and programs that are available to help you record your warehouse inspection data. 

    1. Cleanliness and Organization

    Checking for cleanliness and good organization should be a top priority when inspecting your eCommerce warehouse.

    An unclean warehouse is an unsafe warehouse. Small problems such as spills or trash on the floor can lead to a variety of injuries. Your warehouse should have a high standard of cleanliness.

    Cleaning inspections should regularly take place in your eCommerce warehouse. Daily, or even hourly, cleaning checks can be necessary. 

    Organization is also important to check during a warehouse inspection. Inventory, tools, and equipment should be orderly in order to avoid mistakes and accidents. Every item in your warehouse should have a place. Warehouse inventory management should be high on your list of organization priorities. 

    Misplaced or mislabeled items can be a major hazard. They also increase costs and reduce efficiency. Maintaining an organized warehouse should be a top priority. During your warehouse inspection, you should make sure that you have good organization systems in place. Avoid having dead stock laying around your facility. Also check to make sure that employees are aware of cleaning and organization procedures.

    1. Follow a Checklist

    A strong warehouse safety checklist will guide your warehouse inspections. Your checklist should include all of the areas and equipment that needs inspection. 

    There are a few key elements that you should have on your checklist. Here are some things to include on your warehouse inspection checklist.

    You should check for building or equipment damage. Windows, doors, forklifts, and elevators are a few things you need to regularly inspect and make sure are working well. 

    Fire safety is another necessary part of your eCommerce warehouse inspections. Make sure there are enough working fire extinguishers, and that they are appropriately placed. You should also review your fire evacuation plan and make sure it looks correct. Fire exits and alarms need to be checked regularly. Also check that there are no fire hazards, such as open chemicals or open flames.

    Check high traffic or dangerous areas, such as the loading bay. The loading bay of your warehouse likely has lots of machinery and equipment. Make sure that the equipment works and there is proper signage and procedures for these areas. Also check for anything that could obstruct vehicles, equipment, or loading doors from working properly. 

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    Frequently Asked Questions About eCommerce Warehouse Inspection

    Warehouse safety is an important topic for eCommerce warehouse operators. Warehouse inspections can help ensure that everybody stays safe and your business runs well. Here are a few common questions people have about best practices for eCommerce warehouse inspections. 

    How do you conduct an eCommerce warehouse inspection?

    Conduct a warehouse inspection by following a checklist and thoroughly examining equipment, facilities, and procedures. There are many elements to a warehouse inspection that you need to follow. Make sure you check for fire hazards, safety equipment, and proper record keeping. You should use a checklist and record your data, as well as conducting inspections regularly. 

    What is a warehouse safety checklist?

    A warehouse safety checklist is a guide that contains safety measures and procedures, as well as how to check for them. Warehouse safety checklists are vital to avoid injuries. Following a warehouse safety checklist can help you keep your employees safe. Checklists help you make sure you don’t miss anything and are holding yourself to a high standard. You can use your warehouse checklist to ensure safe practices and operations.

    Should warehouse workers wear hard hats?

    Yes, warehouse workers should wear hard hats to avoid injuries. There are many ways to obtain a head injury while working in a warehouse. Falling stock or equipment accidents can cause serious head injuries. It’s always a good idea to wear protective equipment - and it may be required by federal or local regulations.

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