Quick tips: Health and safety. Enduring support for temporary workers.

Quick tips: Health and safety. Enduring support for temporary workers.

With increased workloads to deal with, the Christmas rush and subsequent holiday period this time of year often sees temporary staff arrive in New Zealand’s distribution centres to help carry the load.

This influx of new employees presents an old problem – how to quickly and effectively induct and train staff in a wide range of health and safety standards. Most of the tips below are common sense and should be included as part of a general onboarding process.

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4. Set the speed limits.

This doesn’t just mean keeping movement on forklifts to the right pace. Rather it’s about setting a realistic expectation of productivity to all team members. 

Trying to save time can often result in the cutting of corners, be it with how products are protected or with how equipment is used. When rushing from task to task it’s easy for concentration to slip too – and new employees don’t have the ingrained safety patterns that comes with years of work. So too must companies be careful that increased workloads don’t lead to unsafe shift lengths. Rotating shifts and keeping overtime at a healthy rate ensures everyone has the necessary focus and alertness needed.

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3. Ensure equipment’s maintained correctly.

While your regular team might know all about the various ‘quirks’ of a particular piece of equipment, new arrivals will assume everything works as it should. They subsequently may ‘learn’ of these issues by making the same mistakes others have made in the past – often with dangerous results.

Besides the general inefficiency and cost issues of equipment breakdowns, the safety issue can be a big one. If you want to book in a pallet wrapper maintenance check before the busy period, get in touch today – one of our expert service reps will ensure you’re getting optimal efficiency (and safety) from your equipment.  

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2. Don’t underestimate stupidity.

For every video you see of idiotic behaviour causing damage and injury there are thousands of incidents that will never see the light of day. People get bored, people get lazy, and people undertake all sorts of risky and senseless behaviour on a whim it seems. 

A comprehensive site tour at the beginning of any induction process is helpful, as this is the best opportunity to point out potential risks to new employees. It’s also important to explain their responsibilities to a safe working environment – which is something that isn’t always considered at first.

And please, make sure every new employee knows not to ride the carriage of our Spinny wrappers as they go up and down. It’s not only incredibly unsafe – it can also get quite expensive to fix!

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1. Practise makes perfect

 It doesn’t take more than a day or two of poor technique when lifting boxes or wrapping pallets to do damage to the body. To avoid repetitive strain issues, make sure everyone knows how to correctly undertake manual handling of goods from day one.

Hand wrapping pallets in particular can cause a lot of this unnecessary strain – especially with the bending and movement needed to ensure loads are correctly secured. Tripping hazards when walking backwards are also an ongoing issue. Take the risk out of the wrap with pallet wrapping tools designed specifically for safe, ergonomic, walk-forward use.

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With these overall focuses and the comprehensive safety standards, New Zealand’s distribution centres will be able to get temporary workers up to speed with ideal efficiency and ongoing peace of mind.

With these overall focuses and the comprehensive safety standards, New Zealand’s distribution centres will be able to get temporary workers up to speed with ideal efficiency and ongoing peace of mind.

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