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Accident statistics tend to confirm what you already know about working in a warehouse environment, which is that it can be a dangerous and even deadly place to be when safety codes are not followed and violated.
Here is a look at some of the most common safety issues and how to ensure that your workplace procedures are robust enough to keep every worker as safe as possible, including an overview of why forklifts are often involved in accidents, suggested safe lifting procedures, plus a reminder to remember the importance of PPE.
Moving goods around requires training
One of the most frequent safety violations involves the use of a forklift.
The only people in the warehouse who should be operating the forklift, even for a brief period of time, is someone who has had full training and is certified as being competent with the operating controls and safe lifting techniques.
There are many opportunities for something to go wrong when a forklift is involved, from not loading it correctly to hitting an object or person through lack of attention or driver error.
If you operate strict safety procedures and rules in your warehouse relating to the use of forklifts that is going to help reduce the number of potential violations.
Another common source of injuries is when a worker incorrectly lifts an item or fails to calculate the load bearing limits accurately.
Lifting gear and strain gauges can help you assess the safety of the load, you can use these, and it is also imperative that every worker is given training on proper lifting safety techniques so that they are able to manage and reduce the prospect of a personal injury.
Another major cause of accidents in this area is when a floor has debris or has wet and slippery areas that haven’t been marked off. Any loading areas have to be free of obstacles and the floor kept clean and dry at all times in order to avoid a potential lifting accident.
The right protective equipment
The importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) can often be overlooked but it should be an integral part of your health and safety procedures and standards in the warehouse.
A pair of sturdy slip-proof boots with a steel cap to protect the wearer’s feet from injury is a good starting point and if lifting is a regular part of a person’s duties they might benefit from wearing a back brace for extra support.
Make PPE a priority in the warehouse and you will be raising your safety profile and helping to reduce the impact of certain accidents and injuries.
Communication is key
Everyone working in the warehouse needs to know what dangers they are facing and the best way of doing that is to use signage when a worker is in an area that poses a specific threat to their safety.
As well making workers aware through various warning signs in strategic places an ongoing safety training and awareness program will help your business to avoid making a significant contribution toward the annual accident statistics relating to warehouse injuries.