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Avoiding Warehouse Safety Hazards

When employees work with the same forklift day in and day out, it’s easy to get comfortable. Unfortunately, it’s when the operator gets too comfortable that situations can become dangerous as employees begin to underestimate the danger of the machine. This is why it’s essential that all employees understand the potential hazards of operating a forklift and remain cautious and careful when operating them. By following specific instructions provided with the forklift your employees will avoid forklift accidents.

A common warehouse safety hazard that can be easily avoided is slipping. This can occur because of loose material like sawdust, liquids, unnecessary steps or ridges, dark areas as well as boxes from the floor. One of the best remedies for ensuring the safety of your warehouse is implementing anti-slip floor tape.

forklift accidentAnother workplace accident that occurs in warehouses is falls. Whether you and your employees are working at ground level or above, there’s always a risk of falling. This is why forklift operators need to stay aware of their surroundings and remember their training when working around loading docks. Proper guard railing is imperative. Especially in areas where there is a large drop between floors.

Fires is one of the most preventable warehouse hazards. Warehouses should have clearly marked exits, fire extinguishers, exit strategies and follow building permits as a means of preventing fires that can potentially put employees in danger and jeopardize the entire warehouse. Be sure to monitor worn and exposed wires on old extension cords, leaking flammable fluids and gasses as well as electrical cords that run under carpet.

According to OSHA’s weekly fatality/catastrophe report, every month two workers are crushed to death on the job. Providing your employees with training for press machines or machines with augers as well as avoiding moving machines and trucks in the loading dock will keep your warehouse safer. Proper education helps your warehouse perform at its fullest potential while keeping employees safe. Reviewing warning labels on machines with moving parts prevents many common workplace hazards. Especially since forklifts that are used improperly can cause severe permanent injury or death.

One warehouse safety hazard that’s often taken for granted is the constant strain and mistreatment on the body which leads to injury and long term pain. Fortunately, back and foot pain can be avoided with ergonomic seats as well as proper lifting techniques.

Warehouses are sites where materials are handled by stacking objects on high platforms and shelves. This presents a dangerous situation if heavy loads aren’t stacked neatly to avoid shifting loads. The same is true of cylindrical objects that could roll off of shelves. Straightening materials on shelves and high platforms will prevent such dangers.

By following the 5S system guidelines for eliminating waste and workplace hazards, your warehouse will be a much safer work environment for you and your employees. Warehouse training and safety materials should be reviewed on a regular basis by all employees to ensure safety and efficiency. Taking the steps to prevent fires, slipping, falls, crushing as well as utilizing ergonomically supportive equipment and maintaining neat stacks on shelves and high platforms helps.

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