Industrial workers are aware that warehouses aren't the safest places in the world. In fact, most warehouses have a long list of safety protocols put in place to keep their workers safe from injuries common to this area of work. However, not every warehouse is exactly the same and many don't have safety guidelines for some of the most dangerous warehouse hazards. Here are some common issues to avoid in your warehouse and how to do it.
Ergonomic and traumatic injuries
With so much standing and lifting, warehouse workers shouldn't try to impress anyone. Lifting with your legs, wearing gloves and using helpful tools like hand trucks are all important to a person's safety and can play a role in preventing back or other chronic injuries. Padded slip-resistant mats can also be great for the ergonomic health of people who stand most of the day in the warehouse.
The nonslip mat can help reduce traumatic injuries as well. Often, these can come as a result of slips and falls, sometimes due to slick floors or spilt substances. Seton Job Safety, an online safety magazine, advised warehouse workers to keep floors clean to save people from injury.
"Maintaining a neat, clean and organized warehouse at all times will ensure a safer warehouse. Keep your floors free from water, oil, cleaning products and other spills that may cause slips and injuries. Clear all traffic areas of pallets, cartons, plastic wraps and other debris that may cause accidents or delay in warehouse operations," the magazine explained.
Forklifts are a critical part of many warehouses. They can help move massive pallets quickly and effortlessly from high heights onto trucks, but they're also dangerous vehicles. The most important way to avoid danger with a forklift is through proper training. A forklift should be kept at very low speeds and never be used for anything other than what it's designed for.
Aside from user error, the most important way to avoid injury with a forklift is through frequent maintenance. An unmaintained forklift is an accident waiting to happen.
Training and attitude
It's not just forklift operators who need training. Every warehouse employee needs to be taught safety, and not just when they're first hired. Major distribution company PBD Worldwide recommended a system of certifications for all equipment, like power jacks and hand trucks. These certifications can be given each year, requiring each employee to stay sharp on his or her safety training.
It can be difficult to have every employee trained properly at all times, but it's critical to the safe operation of a warehouse. When everyone is safe about their own actions, they protect other workers. Being vigilant about danger and aware of your surroundings are important to this goal.
For everyone to keep safe constantly, there should be an attitude of safety throughout the warehouse, PBD explained.
"Every teammate must take safety precautions seriously and remain focused on the task at hand. Pay attention to the details, what you do, where you are going and simply follow the items outlined above. The difference between being a safe workplace and not is a momentary lapse in judgment," the shipping company wrote on its blog.
Whether you're a shift manager or a new warehouse employee, it's important to take the time to do tasks correctly, pay attention to training and protect yourself from ergonomic and traumatic injury while working in a warehouse.
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