Warehouse Attire for Driving a Forklift
The phrase “dress for success” usually refers to clothing and grooming tips for executives and other white-collar workers. But, wearing the right clothing also applies to working in an industrial environment, which is why a warehouse dress code is important for your workers.
Appropriate work clothing is essential, especially when working with forklifts and other industrial equipment. Just as following the right protocols and procedures is necessary when operating forklifts, the right clothing and equipment can help keep your workers safe and prevent workplace accidents and injuries.
What Is a Warehouse Dress Code?
A warehouse dress code defines what warehouse workers should wear during their shifts. It includes guidelines that account for the following factors:
✓ Safety: Safety is the top priority when it comes to a warehouse dress code. All warehouse workers must wear clothing and accessories that ensure they can safely perform everyday tasks.
✓ Comfort: Warehouse workers must wear attire that allows them to stay comfortable throughout their shifts. Attire should not hamper their ability to complete work tasks safely, too.
✓ Durability: Warehouse attire should not wear down easily. Workers should wear clothing and accessories that will maintain its appearance, even when exposed to warehouse operating conditions day after day.
An employer is responsible for establishing and maintaining a dress code for its warehouse. It must account for the aforementioned factors when it creates this dress code. In addition, it can be beneficial to retrieve employee feedback. This enables an employer to develop a dress code that meets the needs of its workers.
Once a dress code is in place, an employer must share it with warehouse workers. An employer must verify that its workers understand warehouse attire requirements and comply with them. Furthermore, an employer must keep its warehouse dress code up to date.
Warehouse Attire: What Is the Proper Dress Code for Industrial Workers?
The same safety clothing that’s recommended for forklift operators also applies to truck loaders, warehouse workers, pallet jack operators, dockyard hands, and employees in similar roles. To ensure your business’ employees wear the proper warehouse attire, here are guidelines for establishing a dress code for your workers:
1. Account for Workers’ Daily Responsibilities
Appoint a manager or supervisor to create a dress code that determines the type of clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) that workers require every day. This might include uniforms with your company logo.
2. Prioritize Safety
For some jobs in storage facilities, dockyards, and other industrial settings, practical warehouse attire might include brightly colored or reflective clothing that’s intended to make other people aware of heavy equipment being used around them. If your workers are required to wear safety clothes and use PPE but don’t comply, have them clock out immediately and allow them to return only when they wear the proper warehouse attire. In addition to wearing appropriate clothing, workers may need to use safety goggles, hard hats, and other forklift PPE.
3. Ensure Warehouse Attire Fits Comfortably
Warehouse attire should fit loosely without the risk of inadvertently snagging industrial equipment. Forklift drivers need to be comfortable throughout their shift, so they should wear durable yet comfortable lightweight clothing, particularly during summer.
4. Provide the Right PPE
Ensure workers can wear clothing that helps them stay comfortable without putting their hands, head, or other body parts in danger. Hats and gloves are especially important for forklift drivers who work in refrigerated warehouses and can be exposed to sub-zero temperatures.
Teach workers about warehouse attire. Then, employees can wear appropriate attire and work safely and comfortably.
Forklift Attire: Here’s What You Need to Know
Wearing safety clothing and PPE such as hard hats, gloves, and reflective clothing isn’t necessarily limited to forklift workers. In fact, the use of appropriate work attire and PPE applies to all industrial workers.
OSHA requires employers to provide their workers with safety equipment that protects their eyes, ears, head, and extremities. This equipment must be maintained and worn on the job whenever necessary. If workers supply their own PPE, employers need to verify that their equipment meets OSHA’s minimum standards and has been properly maintained. Employers must either confirm that employees have the knowledge and skills to properly use PPE or provide them with OSHA-approved retraining as well.
A typical warehouse dress code for forklift operators and other industrial workers should include both protective clothing and PPE accessories to shield a worker’s eyes, face, feet, hands and head. In other words, warehouse attire should literally shield your workers from head to toe.
Other Types of Clothing and PPE for Forklift Operators
Along with the aforementioned forklift clothing and PPE, here are other items you may need to provide to your forklift operators:
1. Eye and Face Protection
The company dress code for forklift operators needs to include PPE, such as safety glasses or face shields, which should be worn when working around concrete, harmful chemicals, or other foreign matter that could irritate or damage workers’ eyes. Safety goggles will keep a worker’s field of vision and line of sight clear both while working inside a warehouse and outdoors on a construction site.
2. Foot Protection
Construction and warehouse workers should always wear shoes or boots with soles that prevent slipping and punctures. Footwear should always be worn to keep toes and feet from being crushed by falling objects.
3. Hand Protection
Operators of forklifts and other types of heavy equipment need gloves that will protect their hands but still offer enough flexibility to grip and operate various controls. In addition to providing warmth in cold environments, gloves are needed to keep the lift’s controls free of grease, oil, or other slippery substances. Heavy-duty rubber gloves should be worn when working with concrete, welding gloves when fusing metal, and insulated gloves with protective sleeves when working around electrical hazards.
4. Head Protection
Whenever there’s a possibility of being struck by objects falling from above, hard hats should be worn. Wearing a hard hat can protect a worker’s head from being injured if an object accidentally falls from an overhead shelf or pallet rack, or during a forklift tip-over. Hard hats, which are an essential component of any company’s warehouse dress code, should be kept in good condition and routinely inspected for defects.
5. Safety Vests
A safety vest makes a forklift operator more visible. It is often neon or fluorescent yellow and constructed from polyester. Safety vests generally have multiple pockets that enable forklift operators to carry small items.
Is Proper Warehouse Attire Necessary?
PPE is essential in preventing workplace accidents and injuries and protecting your employees’ lives. Major causes of forklift-related injuries and fatalities are collisions with fixed obstacles or other vehicles, being crushed during a tip-over, or being struck by falling objects. When used inside warehouses, forklifts need to be able to navigate narrow aisles and other tight spaces on a regular basis, which increases the chances of colliding with door frames, overhead beams, warehouse shelving or other obstacles. These and similar risks make it important for both equipment operators and workers on foot to always adhere to the company’s warehouse dress code.
Forklift operators wearing reflective clothing will visibly alert other operators and pedestrians in the area to their presence. If your company’s warehouse dress code doesn’t include reflective clothing or forklift PPE, revise the dress code revised to ensure that it requires workers to wear the proper clothing and safety gear.
How to Find the Right Forklift Clothing for Your Employee
OSHA is a great resource for employers who want to optimize forklift operator safety. By reviewing OSHA guidelines, you can find out which types of clothing your workers require. You can also learn about PPE and myriad ways to enhance safety across your work environment.
Along with evaluating OSHA guidelines, it may be beneficial to meet with your workers to learn about their safety concerns. Workplace safety is an ongoing initiative that extends beyond forklift clothing and PPE. If you identify workers’ safety concerns, you and your employees can take steps to collaboratively address these concerns.
Forklift certification training may be beneficial as well. This training enables you to educate your workers on the proper warehouse attire and PPE, as well as how to use different types of industrial equipment. It also ensures that your workers can learn about OSHA guidelines and develop and implement best practices to maintain a safe, productive work environment.
Take Advantage of Forklift Certification Training from FLC
As you explore warehouse attire and PPE, you may want to consider forklift certification training to take your workplace safety efforts to the next level.
Forklift certification training delivers immediate and long-term benefits for forklift operators and their employers. The training enables forklift operators to learn how to perform their everyday tasks safely and effectively. Furthermore, it allows employers to meet OSHA guidelines and do their part to provide workers with the training they need to succeed.
Since 2002, FLC has been the leading online resource for OSHA forklift certification and training. We offer a large collection of forklift certification courses to workers of all skill and experience levels. To learn more about our course offerings, please contact us online or call us today at (888) 278-8896.