A warehouse is the logistics center of any company depending on a physical inventory. However, warehouse jobs are also one of the most dangerous. In 2015, 5 percent of warehouse personnel reported injuries. You can lose production and face possible lawsuits in the event of injury. Here are some of the major risks that warehouse workers face.
Forklifts are essential in most warehouse environments for loading or unloading trucks and moving heavy pallets of goods or product. They are also heavy vehicles that cause a lot of accidents, especially if misused. It’s important that everyone who uses a forklift is properly trained in safe operation, and that mirrors or cameras are placed at every intersection to avoid potentially disastrous consequences to passers-by.
Slips and Tripping
Poor lighting, spills, steps, and loose tools or materials can all create a hazard for tripping. This can involve serious injury on a hard concrete surface or around hazardous equipment. There should be adequate lighting in every aisle. Rules for maintaining clean and orderly work areas should be enforced, and anti-slip tape applied where employees might be in danger of losing their footing.
Falls from a Height
Whether it’s a loading dock, ladder, or movable stair, a fall from a significant height onto a hard surface could break bones or cause traumatic brain injuries. It’s important that employees are aware of their surroundings and observe common-sense safety like not climbing on racks or equipment that isn’t designed for this purpose. Use pallet racking systems throughout the warehouse, such as those found at T.P. Supply Co, Inc., that allow easy access with forklifts so climbing isn’t an issue.
Some common materials can be fire hazards, such as chemicals, textiles, and basic cardboard boxes. A single spark could grow into a large fire. Install smoke alarms and multiple fire extinguishers throughout the warehouse. Extinguishers should be easy to spot and all employees trained to use them. Keep flammable items well away from electrical cords, heating vents, or other potential ignition sources. Smoking in the warehouse should be forbidden at all times.
Crushing or Pinching
Failure to use caution around heavy equipment such as forklifts and overhead cranes could lead to potentially fatal accidents. Employees might be crushed against an unyielding surface or suffer injury from heavy falling objects. Moving parts on conveyor belts, packing machines, and other equipment could catch hands and fingers to cause serious injuries. It’s important that workers observe caution and stay clear of potential dangers, and that all guard rails or safety barriers remain in place.
As an employer, you have a responsibility to protect workers. You need to see to it that your warehouse team is aware of the risks and trained in proper procedures for every task they perform.