We all know that safety is paramount in any profession, but it is especially important when working in a warehouse. Due to the high risk of a workplace injury occurring in this setting, it is important that warehouse employees are well-versed in the world of workplace safety. Today, we are breaking down 7 safety considerations in warehousing that keep employers and employees safe and happy.
Common Injuries for Warehouse Employees
When safety measures are not followed correctly in a warehouse, employees become injured. Perhaps the best way to understand why it is important to follow safety guidelines is to look at the consequences that can happen if they are not followed. Let’s look at some of the common injuries that can occur, in order to know what to avoid.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
In a warehouse, slips, trips, and falls are among the most common injuries that occur. Slips, trips, and falls are caused by hazards, including slick surfaces, objects in employee walking paths, uneven floors, and more. Although they may sound minor, these types of injuries can have serious health consequences for employees, such as broken bones, sprains, and even lacerations resulting in stitches. Additionally, slips, trips, and falls can cause damage to the surrounding environment, including damage to equipment, spillage of chemicals, and more.
Heavy Equipment Injuries
In a warehouse, heavy equipment is the name of the game. So, it is no surprise that injuries resulting from these machines are among the most common encountered by warehouse employees. These types of injuries can be caused by several things, namely improper forklift safety training, overcrowded warehouses, and more.
Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals
For warehouses that store hazardous or dangerous chemicals, there is always a risk of spillage. Exposure to dangerous chemicals can have many serious consequences, such as chemical burns, poisoning, and more. While there may not be a way to completely prevent an accident, routine warehouse safety measures, like proper signage, can reduce the risk of a chemical spill endangering warehouse employees.
One of the most serious threats of injury to warehouse employees is machine entanglement. This type of injury is more dangerous than it may sound, often resulting in severe damage to both employees and equipment. Machine entanglement occurs when employees become entangled in heavy machinery or large equipment, often resulting in serious injuries or death. It can occur for a number of reasons, including loose-fitting clothing getting stuck in heavy machinery and workers not paying proper attention.
Warehouse Safety Considerations
Because there is an elevated risk of on-the-job injuries warehouse employees encounter in their profession, it is important that all necessary precautions are taken by themselves and their employers. By following the warehousing safety guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers and employees can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries occurring in the workplace. From proper training to experience in emergency situations, there are many things that can be done to reduce the risk injuries in the warehouse.
1. Always Use Safety Equipment Correctly
Each piece of safety equipment has a specific purpose and is there for a reason. When employees or employers begin to ignore this fact, accidents ensue. For example, equipment such as forklifts and hydraulic lifts can greatly reduce the chance of warehouse workers injuring their backs from lifting heavy items. By paying attention to the safety equipment that is available to them, workers can reduce their risk of sustaining an injury on the job.
2. Eliminate Potential Hazards
The best way to prevent an accident is by being proactive and eliminating anything that may cause one. By removing potential hazards from the warehouse floor, such as loose cords, spilled liquids, or any other object in the walking paths, employees can reduce the possibility of an injury from slipping or tripping. Although slip and trip injuries may sound minor, they can range in severity, especially when heavy machinery in a warehouse is involved. It is important that employees and employers pay attention and actively try to remove these hazards before an injury occurs
3. Always Use Proper Signage
Utilizing proper signage in the warehouse can decrease the potential for injury. Employers can visibly inform employees of any safety risks by ensuring that everything is marked from hazard zones to dangerous chemicals, so they know what to avoid.
4. Provide Proper Training
Along with proper signage, proper training is an invaluable resource in keeping employees from getting hurt on the job. When employees are knowledgeable about the injuries that can occur from improper safety measures and how to avoid them, they can make more conscious decisions about their own and others’ safety.
5. Ensure Proper Clothing is Worn
Many injuries, such as those caused by machine entanglement, can be caused by improper clothing being worn on the job. For those working in a warehouse, it is important to wear well-fitting clothes that are not loose on the body to avoid being caught in any piece of machinery or shelving component. Protective accessories are also a must, including hard hats, gloves, eyewear, and anything else that the job calls for.
6. Utilize Safety in Shelving
In order to prevent workers from being injured by falling objects, shelving should be thoroughly assessed before use to ensure that it can withstand the weight that is demanded of it. A simple task, such as making sure the total weight of the items placed upon the shelves does not exceed the maximum can prevent minor and severe injuries for workers in the warehouse.
7. Ensure Preparedness with Drills
Of course, there is only so much that can be done for on-the-job safety, and sometimes, accidents do happen. Although it is always best to proceed with caution on the job, if an accident does happen, workers should know the proper protocols to follow, especially in an emergency situation. By practicing everything from fire drills to administering first aid, employees can understand how to react in situations that require their action, ensuring that a bad accident does not turn worse.
Rowe Transfer Warehousing in Knoxville, TN
You won’t find warehousing on the list of the safest jobs, but great effort can be taken to ensure that risk to workers is minimal by incorporating proper training and safety measures. Employers that choose to promote safety and training can feel good about the environment that they create for their employees. At Rowe Transfer, we take great care in ensuring that we create a positive experience for our warehouse employees and our customers, alike. When you choose Rowe Transfer, you’re choosing expansive storage space, 24/7 security monitoring, custom racking, climate control, and more. So, whatever you need storage space for, we’ve got your warehousing needs covered. To learn more about our services, visit us online at www.rowetransfer.com, and contact us with any questions or to request a quote at (865) 523-0421.