Warehouses can be one of the most dangerous places to work when it comes to accidents and injury: large and moving machinery (forklifts, for example) carrying heavy loads (pallets full of product) can be quite hazardous to your workers.
Here are six safety tips when it comes to warehouse safety.
Falls actually are the largest type of accident in any workplace, warehouse or office. Slips and falls are common accidents in a warehouse environment. To prevent falls, train employees to be aware of their surroundings. Make sure you install proper guard railings wherever there’s a large gap between floors.
Slipping is another very common warehouse hazard, and one that’s easy to avoid. To help keep your workers steady on their feet, make sure loose material (sawdust, for example), is swept up, spills are mopped up, boxes are stored properly (not on the floor), dark areas are well lit, and steps or ridges are kept to a minimum. It’s also a great idea to install anti-slip tape on your floors.
OSHA reports that one or two workers are crushed to death each month. To prevent this from happening in your warehouse, train employees on any equipment with augers or on press machines. Aim to keep moving machines and trucks in the loading dock only. Look for heavy supplies or materials that could fall on employees and remove them/store them more safely.
Fires can cause great harm yet also are one of the most preventable of accidents. Make sure fire exits are marked clearly, that you follow all fire extinguisher laws and that you have clear exit strategies made available to your workers. Provide fire drills routinely. Remove electrical cords from under carpets, check for leaks in containers holding flammable gasses and liquids, replace worn and exposed wires.
Asbestos and other harsh chemicals are extremely dangerous. If any of your workers feels that you are not ensuring safe working conditions, he or she can flag your warehouse for infraction.
Make sure employees are trained regularly on the danger of stacking objects on high shelves or platforms, or stacking them in high stacks on the floor. Keep heavy loads stacked neatly so that loads won’t shift and to keep round or cylindrical objects from falling off shelving.
When it comes to the safety of your warehouse employees, spending a bit up front in proper safety training as well as in proper storage units and ergonomic tools can go a long way to saving considerably more in the high costs of workplace injuries.