February 2017

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How to Provide Optimal Security In a Warehouse

A warehouse is, by definition, a place of transit through which large quantities of merchandise pass through. What are some things that can be done to protect a warehouse, as well as its employees? Here are some suggestions to ensure that warehouses, distribution centers and other strategic locations are optimally secured:

Separate Shipping and Receiving Areas

Try to separate the areas used for shipping from the areas used for receiving. As best possible, install physical barriers between them. Similarly, make sure you have a goods sorting area between the warehouse’s shipping and receiving areas. There are a many possible solutions to ensure the safety of those present, in particular to prevent collisions between people and forklifts.

Personal Vehicles and Visitors

Establish a policy prohibiting personal vehicles from being in the shipping and receiving areas. Additionally, the employee and visitor parking areas should not be near the warehouse and the receiving doors. Consider installing speed bumps to control and reduce the speed of vehicles driving on the site.

An Area Reserved for Non-Company Truck Drivers

Non-company transport truck drivers should not have access inside the warehouse. If possible, provide a break or waiting room specifically reserved for drivers. This room must have washrooms and other facilities for drivers, while they are waiting for their trucks to be loaded and/or unloaded.

Waste and Recycling Containers

Waste and recycling containers should be installed outside the warehouse and must not be directly accessible from the inside. Clear signage will ensure they are easily located. Keep waste and recycling containers locked. It is also recommended to implement a waste removal procedure that requires at least one employee to be present.

Personal Lockers

Provide personal lockers for your employees in which they can store their personal items and valuables during their shifts, such as cellphones, clothing, etc. In general, personal effects and other valuables should not be brought into the warehouse. Use an electronic system to control access into the locker room. This access control system should be able to provide accurate information about all entries and exits in and out of the room, as well as which lockers were opened, and when. In some cases, you may even consider requiring employees to be accompanied in order to access this room.

Check Entries and Exits

Large warehouses should have security checkpoints at the site’s entrance. All outgoing trucks should be required to stop at the checkpoint before leaving the site. In smaller warehouses where a checkpoint may not be justified, you should then consider putting a supervisor or a security officer in place that can randomly check outgoing vehicles without notice.

Employee Entry and Exit

Limit the number of exterior doors that employees can use to enter and exit. As much as possible, the main entrance and exit door should be visible from the warehouse manager’s office. Otherwise, a video camera can be used to record entrances and exits in and out of the warehouse. Alarms must also be installed on the emergency exits.

An Intrusion Alarm System

Avoid storing full trailers when the warehouse is closed. If full trailers are parked outside the warehouse, ensure that an effective alarm system protects the warehouse and the parking lot against intruders.