Common Warehouse Hazards/Accidents and How Can We Prevent Them?
Hazards are always present, and accidents can occur! You could be sitting down having a coffee, unloading a 40ft container or even just walking through the door to get the day started. The good news is that we can minimise the chance of them happening and even take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk.
Not to mention that employers have a legal responsibility to protect all employees and visitors to the warehouse from any risks or accidents. So, it is key that you are compliant and have the necessary precautions in place.
Forklift accidents are some of the most common in warehouses and are usually the most dangerous. Forklift trucks can normally go from 5mph to 15mph and although that doesn’t seem fast, in a crowded workspace carrying a heavy load, problems can arise. You run the risk of potentially hitting a colleague, tipping the truck, or even damaging racking.
However, minimising the chances of these things happening isn’t a difficult as it may seem. You should also ensure that the appropriate training and guidance has been given prior to operating a forklift. This will ensure you know how to best avoid causing injury when driving one. Your employer should ensure you have an up-to-date licence before stepping foot on a forklift! Forklifts are also equipped with a horn which should always be used to always alert colleagues of their presence as well as wearing protective Hi-Viz clothing.
If you have worked in the Industrial sector, then I’m sure you have either seen or been the person who tries to lift something way to heavy in the completely wrong way. Yes, you may be able to cope with the weight at the time but constant strain on joints and muscles if a motion is not executed right can have an extremely negative affect on your body at the time or most certainly in the future!
Manual handling should always be fresh in your memory and organisations should regularly train and remind employees!
Some tips for your manual handling:
Assess the weight of the load. Can you comfortably lift it?
Recue the distance of the lift where you can.
Make sure you know where you’re going.
Ensure you have a good grip and there isn’t a chance of slipping.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Slips and Trips
The most common accident in a warehouse and a frequent one in day-to-day life. Being aware of your surroundings in a warehouse could save you a lot of pain and hassle. The last thing you want to be doing is slipping on a hot coffee that has been spilled on the floor or even a chunk of wood from the broken pallet that you took outside earlier in the day. Luckily for you, this can all be prevented!
If you see something on the floor that shouldn’t be there, move it or bin it. Just because you may not have left it or dropped it there it doesn’t mean it isn’t your responsibility.
Floor tape is also a great way to reduce the risk of any slips or trips as it can highlight any potential dangers or hazards that may cause harm and it is useful at keeping walkways clear.
Put equipment back when you are finished with it.
Ensure you have as many cleaning stations as needed so that a quick and efficient clean up can be done.
Keep to bottled drinks within the warehouse if liquids are permitted.
Keeping the warehouse tidy is important for everyone and the business. Safety handbooks should be created for employees to understand the risks and signs should be placed around the building to always remind them to be aware.
REMEMBER: A safe warehouse is an efficient warehouse! Keeping on top of your warehouse’s training and safety often is the way to ensure the effectiveness of your operation!