SIGNS. Some believe that signs are an indication of the future, an omen of things, good or bad about to happen. Printed signs are great for delivering information quickly whether they are for commercials, to indicate parking days and hours, alert you to wet floors, detours, the end of the world and danger. Signs are also a form of communication, with the hearing impaired sign to chat, or a catcher putting down fingers to pitch a curve or slider inside and the armed services us flags to chat while a frazzled commuter uses one finger to say thanks. Signs should be clear and too the point. DANGER. Pretty clear, yes? However, when was the last time you made sure the signs in your warehouse were updated?
In a recent incident in Suisun City, California, a child playing in a park was bitten by a dog. The issue is whether the sign was clear as to it’s intent. The sign clearly said: “No pets allowed beyond this point” and under that “All pets must be on a leach.” Is that clear to you? Are they allowed or not and does a leach make a difference? Can a parent make a fair assessment that their child will be safe in here or not? Then add to this the statement from a parks spokesperson, we’re really haven’t been enforcing the sign”, yet the sign remains.
At J.F.K. airport waiting for my flight home. I was hungry and thirsty and a juicy burger sounded really good so I stop at a place that looks good, 5ivesteak. They had a list of beers. I ordered a Corona. We don’t have that. Oh, o.k. how about a Brooklyn brown ale? Sorry, we don’t have that either. I was getting frustrated and asked what they did have? After she told me I had to ask what the deal was with the several beers they didn’t have. Is this a temporary shortage or do you no longer carry the beers. We haven’t had them in quite a while so I think we don’t carry them. So why don’t you update the sign? Something had changed, but no one updated the signs and now you’re an upset customer.
So what has changed in your warehouse? When was the last time you walked the building with a critical eye to make sure your signs are not misleading. This is a great annual exercise completed during your slow season.
Let’s start with the fire extinguisher signs. is there actually an extinguisher there? Think how it would go if a small controllable fire broke out and you ran towards where an extinguisher should be and it’s empty. If you find this to be the case you have two choices. Get an extinguisher there or remove the sign. This is something that will be dinged in a fire department inspection. Also check the inspection dates on the extinguishers as well.
How about those exit signs? I know this is going to sound silly, but are they above the correct exit doors? Just because it’s a door leading out of the warehouse doesn’t mean it’s an emergency exit. Check the signs and make sure they will light up if there is a power failure. If they don’t, change out the batteries or get repairs as needed. This will also go against you in a fire inspection if they don’t work.
Have you done any renovations or added on to your warehouse. Does the evacuation plan posted on the wall still make sense and is the meeting area still usable? If it needs to be updated do it now! The eye wash station in your battery room. Are the signs properly displayed there and clear to see without obstructions. Are all the chargers access doors closed and locked shut, without frayed cables or broken connectors and have clearly labeled high voltage or danger signs.
One other area to check on is the pick locations and other rack locations. Are the labels there clear for easy RF scanner read and are they correct? Have new locations been entered in the WMS but not changed on the racks. This could lead to dead or out dated product without proper visibility. Check and make sure the minimum/maximum weight loads for the racking are properly labeled and displayed? So as you can see anything with a sign including the emergency water shut off valve and the fire hose locations and others you may use at your location need to be checked, verified and replaced to keep your warehouse a safe haven.