Working in a warehouse can at times be a dangerous environment if the right precautions aren’t taken and the right protocols aren’t put in place. There are various safety issues that warehouse operatives have to face every day, some are more serious than others, but they can all lead to serious accidents if dealt with incorrectly.
Read on to find out more about the seven most common and how they can be easily dealt with.
1. Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls are common in many workplaces and warehouses are no different. Although this is one of the more easily prevented problems, they still seem to happen a lot. Make sure that you rid the warehouse of any boxes, paper or loose materials that you and your fellow workers could potentially fall over.
Poorly lit areas, unproductive layouts and unnecessary steps are other main factors that contribute to the slip, trip and fall count. Spilt liquids and wet or damp floors are a hazard too.
To counteract, wear slip-resistant footwear to ensure that you don’t have to worry about hitting the floor during your shift. After all, safety starts from the ground up. They’ll also keep your feet comfortable and supported throughout the day.
2. Heavy Equipment
When working in a warehouse, you may often come into contact with heavy machinery that helps you do your job. Commonly, these machines are mechanical pickers that help you retrieve materials from the highest racking to take the risk away of any fall or injury that might come from trying to do that yourself.
You'll have been trained to use the machinery properly and after a while, you'll get to know it really well. But you need to be careful not to become complacent just because you think you know how to use the machines. This complacency is dangerous and can easily lead to injuries.
Warehouse fires tend to get overlooked as they’re so easily preventable, but they still do happen. Fires can be massively devastating if they hit your factory, but can often be prevented. Ensure your warehouse has the correct fire extinguishers in place and clearly marked out.
It’s best practice to not leave any exposed wires running through the warehouse. Not only is this a trip hazard but it could also cause a fire. Also, try to avoid leaving flammable liquids lying around.
4. Heavy Materials
Heavy materials can lead to accidents so it’s important that you take extreme caution when handling them. Adequate training of how to move and handle heavy materials should be provided, so it’s important to take this training into account and not cut any corners.
5. Falling Objects
A lot of warehouses have items stacked up to the high ceiling. Racking can be hard to load properly when it’s out of reach, so it can end up being overloaded. This can usually result in the racking breaking and collapsing, which then sends items hurtling to the ground from quite a height. Should this hit somebody, it’ll cause great damage and injury.
Objects should always be stacked properly, with heavier items towards the bottom and the lighter ones towards the top.
6. Moving Vehicles
Depending on the size of the warehouse, there’ll be various vehicles driving around the premises at all times. These are usually forklift trucks, which if handled by the wrong person or driven negligently, can cause an accident.
Moving vehicles can cause a problem when turning corners and switching between aisles. Make sure that only people who are qualified to drive the vehicles do so and to always be alert while working.
7. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Having the right workwear on in a warehouse is a necessity. If you have the incorrect type or none at all on, you’re setting yourself up for problems.
For example, you should wear gloves at all times to protect your hands from all the lifting and handling you’ll be doing.
Another vital PPE item is safety footwear. You’re going to be on your feet all day so make sure you buy some suitable shoes that support your entire body. They'll also need to come with various safety features and certifications to keep you protected from hazards at work.
We recommend X1100N81, the waterproof, puncture-resistant safety boot. Featuring steel toecaps and a clog-resistant outsole to minimise slips, trips and falls, you'll be kept safe from the ground up.
Find Out More About Warehouse Safety
Warehouse safety should never be overlooked. You always need to be alert when on your shift. If you’re not sure what to look out for or want some further reading, download our free all-in-one guide regarding warehouse safety and its true dangers.