Warehouses are vital to our economy, where they serve as the distribution centers for everything from food to clothing to medicine. The availability of the products on the shelves in your local grocery store, pharmacy, or department store would be impossible without warehouse operations. Warehouses, however, can be dangerous, too. Warehouses are sometimes filled with a lot of fast-moving equipment like forklifts, pallet jacks, and conveyors, which are used to move products. Warehouse workers also have easy access to large quantities of goods, which can be dangerous while handling.
Warehouses are dangerous for the working staff, and injuries are not uncommon. In fact, in 2012, 4,710 employees suffered injuries while working at a warehouse, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Warehouse workers are exposed to a variety of risks, including being struck by objects falling from a height, receiving injuries from vehicle collisions, and being hit by moving objects. Employers and warehouse managers should implement these safety tips to reduce the risk of injury while working at a warehouse.
Assess the potential risks and hazards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has outlined a guideline for employers to follow when assessing risks, hazards, and safety precautions in the warehouse space. The OSHA guidelines state that employers should identify potential hazards, risks, and safety concerns immediately. Once the risks are identified, the warehouse employees may need to look into how to implement these. As an example, steel pipe bollards might be installed to ensure employee safety, as well as protect racking and warehouse assets.
Practice good warehouse cleaning
Protecting your employees from the risk of injuries caused by fires and falls is a primary task for warehouse operators. In addition, keeping a clean warehouse is a must since a clean workspace helps operators detect and correct hazards and avoid injuries. As an added benefit, a hygienic warehouse also makes work more productive and safer.
Train personnel on proper equipment
A warehouse safety tip for operators and warehouse personnel is to always train personnel on proper equipment use. A common accident in warehouses is when the operator uses the wrong piece of equipment for the task. As a result, the warehouse personnel may get injured and has to pay a fine. The types of accidents that can be avoided with proper training are repetitive motion, improper lifting, and forklift accidents.
Provide the proper PPE
Providing the proper PPE use is one of the warehouse safety tips. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires workers to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect their eyes, skin, respiratory system, other internal organs, and musculoskeletal system. The PPE generally includes items such as safety glasses, earplugs, gloves (if interested, check out https://unigloves.co.uk/), sanitation products, safety footwear, respiratory protection, and fall protection. This PPE may need to be selected and used by trained workers who understand the limitations of the equipment.
Create a fire evacuation plan
Create an emergency evacuation plan as part of your warehouse safety procedures. If you haven’t been following warehouse safety procedures, it’s time to start. You should also practice your fire evacuation plan at least twice a year. And, of course, you should be sure to implement an emergency evacuation plan for your warehouse-either on paper or on the company’s computer-that will encourage workers to respond quickly and calmly.
Maintain heavy equipment regularly.
Maintenance is an important principle in the warehouse since workers need to be sure that the equipment, they need to perform their jobs is always running properly and efficiently. While some of the maintenance issues can be handled by regular preventive maintenance, certain elements can only be handled by professional hands.
Since its inception, the warehouse industry has been touched by the often-dangerous nature of its operation. From forklift accidents to poorly lit aisles, workers may often experience injuries on the job. By learning about warehouse safety tips, workers can reduce their risk of getting injured.