Common Workplace Injuries
The first step to boosting warehouse safety is understanding common workplace injuries and what’s causing them. The following are the most common causes of these injuries:
- Heavy Equipment Accidents : Heavy warehouse equipment such as forklifts and heavy pallets are the leading cause of injuries and sometimes even fatalities in the warehouse. Workers run a risk of being hit or run over by forklifts, falling between the trailer and the lift, or falling from an elevated platform. These accidents usually take place due to a warehouse being crowded, inadequate forklift safety training, or just by chance.
2. Slips, Trips, and Falls: The majority of the injuries in the warehouse comprise slips, trips, and falls. The cause of such incidents can be slippery or uneven floors and accumulation of debris, residue, grease, or cords lying in walking areas.
3. Exposure to Chemicals : A number of warehouses store hazardous chemicals or use them for production purposes. Accidental spills, sadly, cannot be prevented from happening. These chemical leaks and spills can be a threat to the safety of warehouse employees.
4.Being Hit by Falling Objects: There is always a massive risk of stacked items falling from the shelves at any point. These types of injuries are caused by incompetent operations setup and human error.
5. Machine Entanglement: The most severe injury that can happen in a warehouse is machine entanglement. This type of injury occurs when employees get entangled with dangerous and large equipment while working.
10 Warehouse Safety Tips
Warehouses are required to implement a safety plan, but safety doesn’t end with implementation. It’s also paramount that the execution of the safety procedures is done well.
This section covers some tips to prevent the aforementioned injuries:
1. Ensure Safety Equipment is Always Used
It is vital to use safety equipment such as forklifts or hydraulic lifts to raise bulky products to prevent major back injuries.
2. Eliminate Potential Safety Hazards
It is important to ensure that floors are free of slip and trip hazards. It is also vital that the staff understands the importance of good housekeeping. There should be regular checks on any stray cords, liquids, accumulated debris, cracks, and pits on the floor. These can cause severe injuries to employees and damage valuable machinery and cargo.
3. Identify and Mark Hazardous Zones Clearly
Signs and stickers are the most cost-effective and functional way of keeping your warehouse organized and safe from hazardous situations. Labeling racks, equipment, and materials clearly can help workers prevent serious injuries. Also, it’s important that emergency exits and the safest routes to them are clearly marked.
4. Provide Proper Training and Courses
Providing staff with adequate training about warehouse safety processes can ensure that they are aware of the consequences of an unsafe workplace. It can also encourage people to follow procedures more closely.
5. Proper Clothing Should be Worn
Loose-fitting clothes should be avoided as they can get caught in the machinery or pallets, which can lead to injuries. Also, wearing protective clothing, including hard hats, gloves, vests, masks, and eye-wear is another valuable tip to ensure the safety of the workers in the warehouse.
6. Promote Awareness
Promoting awareness about any potential safety hazards and alerting colleagues of passing machinery, such as forklifts, can drastically reduce accidents. This can be achieved through constant communication among employees.
7. Shelving Safety
It is essential to assess how much weight a rack can endure and how the materials should be stacked to achieve effective distribution. This prevents workers from getting injured from falling objects.
8. Vehicle Safety
Whether you work with forklifts or lift trucks, vehicle safety is essential to preventing crush injuries. This can be done by ensuring workers are provided proper practical training about maintaining speed limits, avoiding reversing whenever possible, and being aware of blind spots. It’s also important to enforce a zero-tolerance policy about reckless driving.
9. Carry Out Fire Safety Drills
Fire and smoke alarms should be tested on a regular basis. Drills help you check if these alarms work and also with creating and updating a safe evacuation and emergency plan. Ensuring the installation of emergency lights can go a long way in making sure staff safely evacuates.
A crucial part of a safe warehouse is good ventilation, but it is usually overlooked by employers. Limited air circulation can lead to stagnation of fumes and vehicle exhaust in the warehouse, which can hinder both employee comfort and safety. Putting in exhaust fans can help ensure that the warehouse is well ventilated.
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Our company (RCL Safety Centre) is an indigenous company dedicated to Health, Safety and Environment Training and Services.
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