Slips, trips and falls, machinery risks and falling objects. We all know about these common hazards that warehouses can bring. Although employers enforce fire safety precautions and even provide PPE to wear in the workplace, you’ll know the real hazards that working in a warehouse can really bring which many aren’t aware of. Here are five hidden warehouse health and safety hazards you need to know - with some leading to even bigger problems.
Repetitive Strain Injuries
Poor ergonomic designs and improper lifting techniques can cause different types of repetitive strain injuries on various parts of your body. Injuries like musculoskeletal disorders can develop if you strain your muscles and joints while repeatedly engaging in awkward motions.
Whether it’s your wrists, back, arms or knees, there are some risk factors that contribute to this safety hazard.
- Little rest - Repeating motions without taking enough rest breaks means your muscles, tendons and ligament injuries don’t have much time to heal.
- Awkward positions - Twisting and reaching too far or reaching down too low to carry out your warehouse activities can lead to injuries.
- Repeated movements - Moving and lifting or bending and twisting when lifting heavy items throughout your shift can injure ligaments, muscles and tendons.
- Forceful movements - Using too much effort to complete warehouse tasks can put you at risk.
A warehouse job is very physically demanding, so you’re more likely to develop both temporary and permanent back pain. This is down to constant lifting, twisting, bending and even sudden shifts in movement.
Not many workers worry about a little soreness as that can be considered normal, but continuing to put extra pressure on your back can result in long-lasting pain which might leave you unable to work.
Taking time out to stretch, having breaks and practising proper posture can be a big help to avoid suffering from back problems. In the long run, poor posture can lead to problems in your legs, joint pain in the knees and even your feet.
Why not check out the Bonnie style to wear in the warehouse? With a microfibre upper, water and puncture proof materials, composite toe as well as an anti clog slip-resistant outsole, you'll stay both comfortable and safe on your feet - yet looking stylish.
A muscle strain can come out of nowhere or it can develop over days or weeks. When you’re using a lot of force repeatedly in one area - such as lifting heavy objects all day - or even repeating these tasks excessively in an awkward position, then your muscles are likely going to suffer a lot of damage over time.
Muscle strains also mean you might not be able to work as efficiently until you recover. Make sure you lighten the workload, recognise the symptoms early and get enough rest so your muscles don’t suffer a lot of wear and tear.
Even if warehouses are well-ventilated, they can be hot and humid places to work. Tiredness can cause dehydration, especially if you’re wearing PPE indoors while doing strenuous tasks. Dehydration can result in further problems such as becoming weak, confusion and even losing consciousness.
To completely avoid this, don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Instead, regularly drink cool water so you can remain hydrated before, during and after physical labour to replace the body fluid you lose through sweating.
Sore Feet and Blisters
Working in a warehouse and being on your feet all day is a combination that can lead to foot problems. Sore feet and blisters can make it painful to stand up, let alone walk around and this is a big effect of those long shifts.
Part of the reason might be that your current footwear is uncomfortable and also unsafe. If that’s the case, then you’re at a greater risk of suffering from feet injuries as heavy objects falling on them can cause severe damage, for example, leaving you unable to work.
If you have comfortable footwear that features plenty of safety elements, then you can continue working without putting any extra strain on your feet and even legs. By continuing to wear poor safety shoes, you’re more likely to develop blisters and sore feet which can make it more difficult to even get to work because of the pain.
When looking for the right footwear, make sure they meet or even exceed industry standards. Why not try the Clyde style? It looks stylish and will keep you safe on the job, from steel toecaps in case anything heavy falls on them to a tapered outsole to minimise your risk of tripping.
Safety starts from the ground up, so make sure you find suitable footwear that won’t put you in any danger and will instead keep you upright, safe and comfortable.
Make Sure You Understand the Impact of Warehouse Safety
Warehouse safety needs to be given a lot more importance, especially since you now know the hidden hazards that the work environment can bring. That’s why we’ve created a free eBook so you can stay in the know with accident statistics, more potential hazards and ways in which you can overcome them.
To make sure you understand the impact of warehouse safety and the true dangers it can bring, download your free copy by hitting the button below.