Whether you are currently running an export and import company, or are planning on starting one, you should be aware of the many rules and regulations and the licences you need to have in place. This is one area that some seem to think health and safety regulations don’t apply when in fact, considering some of the goods handled by these companies, they are more important than ever. Here are just 5 ways in which export and import companies can improve their health and safety standards.
The Right Equipment
As an import and export company are buying directly from manufacturers, often at hugely reduced prices, there is no knowing how well those goods have been packed in transit. All staff should wear gloves and be advised to take precautions when opening packages. Many workers have suffered bad cuts poorly packed knives and other sharp items.
As most import and export businesses operate in large, warehouse like environments tripping hazards are a very real threat. With all those packages being opened on a daily basis there is a very real risk of plastic bindings and other materials not being disposed of properly and causing somebody to have an accident. Have plenty of bins in the area items are being unpacked so all the packaging can be properly disposed of straight away.
Careful with Chemicals
If your business deals with any kind of pesticides or chemicals you owe it to your employees to ensure they are protected from any leaks or spillages. Any kind of chemical substance which comes into contact with skin or fumes are inhaled from can cause serious burns and respiratory distress. Paper masks don’t block out everything, so proper chemical clothing and protective gear should be provided for all your staff and it is up to you to ensure they wear them.
If you are importing goods from anywhere that has poisonous spiders or insects you have no way of knowing if one or two of the little critters have hitched a ride. A bite or sting from a poisonous insect can be fatal if not treated quickly and it may depend on you knowing what kind of spider etc that it was.
Anaphylactic shock is also a big risk if the person who has been stung or bitten has a severe allergic reaction to the venom. Take extra precautions when opening any packages from areas such as Africa, Australia, Asia etc and ensure you employ one of the many online training programmes to make your workers aware of how serious a bite or sting can be and how to open those packages safely to minimise the risk should they have multi legged hitch hikers.
Import and export businesses can be very busy places with people coming and going all the time and so many people in one place doing so many different things can pose real risks of danger. Have designated areas for each type of goods and make sure workers stay within their areas.
There will also more than likely be vehicles such as fork lift trucks moving around so get lines painted on the floor to show the drivers where they can and not drive. A lot of this is common sense but in the hustle and bustle it can be easy to lose track of what everyone is doing at one time and this makes things a lot easier.
Health and safety is important for every area of work and the import and export business is no different. The aforementioned should help keep things safe and prevent issues.
Topics: Employees, Insurance & Risk, and Management