In a warehouse work environment, even a small hazard can lead to a major accident. It’s not surprising given that there are dangerous materials, like hazardous chemicals, on-site, as well as large machinery and equipment that doesn’t stop moving. It’s why employers need to have an eye on safety at all times and address any issues quickly and effectively.
To help ensure your warehouse is a safe place to be for your people, here’s a look at four of the most common warehouse dangers and what to do about each one.
#1: Slips, Trips, and Falls
These make up the majority of accidents, according to OSHA, and can even cause accidental death. The good news is that with the right procedures in place, they can be easily prevented. For instance, making sure that work areas are always kept clean, tidy, free of clutter, and well-lit is essential. Also, any obstructions should be removed from aisles and walkways. Likewise, if there’s a spill, that area should be cordoned off with the mess cleaned up immediately.
#2: Hazardous Materials
Warehouse facilities often have hazardous materials in storage. While a large-scale spill is an emergency, even a smaller one can be dangerous, posing a threat to your people. That’s why you need to have an effective plan in place for dealing with issues like spills. Employees also need to be carefully trained on what to do, so they handle the situation properly if it occurs. This includes ensuring they have access to all the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) they need.
#3: Equipment Accidents
In a warehouse environment, there are all sorts of equipment and machinery on the move. This includes forklifts, which can cause major crashes and accidents. Not only do they weigh nearly 10,000 pounds, but they often have to make sharp turns with arms sticking out of them. OSHA reports that accidents involving forklifts lead to around 35,000 injuries on an annual basis. That’s why it’s vital to ensure your forklift operators are thoroughly trained and follow appropriate procedures.
#4: Falling Pallets
If pallets aren’t placed and stored properly, there’s a good chance they could crash and collapse, injuring employees in the process. These are especially dangerous if they fall from a high place. To avoid this, make sure employees are following best practices when it comes to stacking pallets, putting the heaviest items at the bottom. Also, be sure to regularly inspect pallets and how they’re stored, looking for any potential signs of danger.
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