Warehouse food safety is about more than just food. Sure, food contamination is rightfully the primary concern in most cases, but it shouldn’t be the only priority or the only natural thought. Think about injuries you can sustain from slips and trips, the risks of working with machinery and even the effects poor footwear can have on your feet and the rest of your body.
Although we understand just how important food contamination is in the warehouse, the following risks should also be considered equally as vital to make sure you and those around you are always safe:
Working with food in warehouses means you’re going to carry around a lot of heavy objects. Over time, this can result in a lot of physical strain throughout your body. The difficulty here is that it’ll take until you’ve suffered enough damage to actually realise where the physical strain is.
It can be throughout your legs, lower back or even arms. In time, it means you won’t be able to do any strenuous tasks.
Personal awareness is the best way to mitigate this risk. Make sure you’ve been taught on how to properly handle items and objects safely regardless of how much they weigh. This way, you’ll know how much twisting, stretching, turning and lifting you can do without straining yourself.
Food items and equipment is usually stored on high racking or shelves for added safety. The risk this brings is that they can easily fall down and injure you. When moving from place to place, it’s important to be vigilant so that you’re aware if items are slipping off and if they do, you’re not there to suffer an injury.
The best way for you to mitigate this risk in the warehouse is to first wear PPE, like a hard hat and to know how to stack loads as neatly and as safely as possible. You’ll be doing yourself a favour as well as other warehouse workers by stacking items in a safe way without putting anyone in danger.
Food warehouses will be full of substances that are toxic, such as cleaning products. Although these substances are used to promote safety, they can still be dangerous if you’re not using them properly or not wearing the appropriate gear.
To mitigate this risk, make sure you’ve been trained on safety procedures beforehand and stick to them. Concentration is also key, as a momentary lapse can lead to severe injuries if you forget about the correct procedures.
Protect yourself even further by wearing PPE like gloves when working with substances that can be hazardous.
In a food warehouse, you’ll be expected to operate machinery like a forklift to load and unload heavy items. This can lead to many hazards, such as hitting other warehouse workers, knocking over equipment, the risks of leaving machinery unattended and more.
Read through the forklift safety rules so you’re always keeping best practices in mind and also wear the appropriate clothing. Loose-fitting clothing can get caught in machinery while poor footwear makes it much easier to slip.
To make sure you have safe footwear when operating machinery, we recommend Rocket 81. Not only does it look stylish, but it’s also S1 certified. This means it’s slip-resistant and has steel toecaps while also featuring closed and energy-absorbing seat areas.
Slips, Trips and Falls
This is a risk in many workplaces, especially food warehouses. In fact, it’s the most common cause of accidents in any workplace. This can occur through boxes being left on the floor, poorly-lit areas, hidden steps and ridges, slippery flooring, littering and even poor footwear being worn.
The best way of mitigating this risk is to invest in slip-resistant safe footwear. It’s important to find a durable pair made from heavy-duty materials that offer plenty of protection which can’t be found in cheap alternatives.
Some of the vital features to look out for include:
- Puncture proof.
- Steel toe protection.
- Tapered outsole.
- CE, S1 and S3 certified.
We recommend Bonnie and Clyde. They’re both S3 and CE certified, meaning they’ll keep you safe in the warehouse thanks to slip-resistance technology, safety steel toe caps and energy-absorbing seat areas as well as being both water and puncture proof.
Safety starts from the ground up, so invest in a pair of safety shoes that will last a long while and keep you safe when working in a food warehouse. However, there’s more to consider.
Just How Safe is Your Warehouse?
Warehouse food safety can’t be underestimated. There are so many hazards or risks that come with it and the above steps are some you can take yourself to mitigate them, including buying safe shows. But there’s a lot more to consider when it comes to warehouse safety.
We’ve created a comprehensive eBook on warehouse safety standards. It’s full of useful information about how you can stay safe in the warehouse, the importance of safety shoes, how to pick them, ho to deal with injuries and so much more.
To get your free copy, click the button below.