When working in a warehouse, one is usually surrounded by a lot of people doing their work. For this reason, everyone working within a warehouse must be equally careful and safe to avoid any sort of accidents.
In the following lines, we’ll talk about 10 of the ways through which you and your employees can avoid warehouse accidents.
1. Workplace Culture
Employers will usually focus on just getting the job done as part of the workplace culture.
However, in a warehouse, where the danger lies at every corner, it would be better if safety was part of the workplace culture as well.
In this respect, superiors must emphasize the importance of safety – always making sure that employees wear safety equipment, are properly trained, and so on. This should be part of any warehouse safety message and can separate a superior warehouse from an ordinary one.
2. Safe Lifting
Working in a warehouse involves heavy objects that have to be lifted by employees, safely. In this respect, before allowing workers to lift heavy objects and pallets, you must make sure that every employee is aware of how to lift safely and which tools to use.
For this, we recommend using pallet trucks as these allow you to elevate pallets off the ground and move them around easily. For manual pallet trucks, all you have to do is pull the lever on the handle, position the pallet truck forks underneath the pallet and crank the handle up and down until the pallet is off the floor.
On the flip side, electric pallet trucks do the hard part for you. All you need to do is use the controls to instruct the pallet truck on its next movement and continue to do so until your pallet has been lifted and moved successfully.
3. Machine Inspection
Inspecting machinery in the warehouse is a must. Not only will doing this help minimise the risk of accidents when handling pallets but will also ensure that your machines will stand to do their job properly and safely for the foreseeable future.
If you notice something odd when inspecting machinery, always point this out to your co-workers to prevent accidents from happening. Thinking ahead and pointing out issues with warehouse machinery will help you figure out roughly when each piece will need replacing or even general maintenance.
4. Floor Check
Many accidents can also be caused by falls, trips, and slips. In this respect, superiors must check the safety quality, so to say, of the walkways within the warehouse. Slopes, unsecured mats, or stray cables must be either dealt with or got out of the way. They also have to make sure that the area is well lit.
5. Changes in Weather
With every change of weather, you must work hard to make sure that any natural hazards are removed from the floors or access areas – such as snow and water. Naturally, warehouse operatives have to either wash or wax the floors. To do this, you would have to appropriately mark the area so that all employees can be more careful around it.
6. Proper Wear of Protective Gear
Naturally, you’ll have to wear protective gear at all times, as required by law. However, your superior must also make sure that they wear such gear correctly. The main parts of the protective gear must be in good, but ideally, pristine condition to avoid any types of incidents.
7. Protective Shoes
It is most likely that all workers will have to handle heavy and more than heavy cargo as well – in this respect, you must be equipped with protective shoes, to avoid any foot or toe damage. Usually, shoes with a metal tip are recommended for such work conditions.
8. Obstacle Clearing
Even though you’ll be working inside a warehouse, the place should not be a mess – in short, the driveways and walkways should be clear of any cargo or obstacles, especially if you know that a forklift is going to be operated in that area.
For example, a forklift must be able to reach and access the pallets it needs without having to go through a path that has obstacles.
9. Forklift Safety
As the forklift is a common vehicle seen with any pallet delivery sent to a warehouse, it is important that all workers who operate a forklift, as well as those that work around one, know the safety precautions that must be made to avoid any incidents.
In this respect, the warehouse manager must make sure that their forklift operators are properly trained, experienced, and that those that don’t normally operate forklifts at least know how to behave and be safe when working around them.
Moreover, the machines have to be inspected regularly, as mentioned before, to help prevent warehouse accidents.
10. Workplace Safety Markings
According to the NIOSH, roughly 20 per cent of the accidents that take place in a warehouse or involve forklifts also involve pedestrians – around 19,000 people injured every year.
Therefore, the work area must be marked properly using visual barriers. A barrier system must be put in place and there must be warning signs that flag the pedestrians they are about to enter a hazardous area. There should also be blue lights as well as red zone warning to signal where heavy equipment is operating or approaching.
To summarise, the above are the main tips that will hopefully help you avoid any warehouse accidents. You must take our advice seriously and put the measures into practice ASAP if you haven't done so already.
Whether it's an accident involving two or more pallets resulting in damage, a worker becomes injured as a result of mishandling a pallet in the warehouse, we are always on hand to offer advice and answer your queries.
For more advice regarding the safe handling of pallets, simply head over to our Help Centre. You will find several articles there that may help to answer your queries in detail.