Warehouse Safety: Everything You Need to Know
Warehouses are the heart of the supply chain, where countless goods are stored, sorted, and shipped to destinations worldwide. A warehouse would fall apart without hardworking associates, from forklift operators to material handlers. That's why warehouse safety is vital for warehouse workers just like you.
In this blog post, we'll explore warehouse safety, including the hazards to look out for and the tips you need to work safely in such a fast-paced environment.
Common Warehouse Injuries
While working in a warehouse can be a rewarding experience, it can also be dangerous if you aren't careful. But before we talk about warehouse safety, here are the common injuries in this work environment.
Heavy Equipment Accidents
There is a risk of injury when working with machinery such as forklifts and heavy pallets. These injuries include getting run over by forklifts, falling between the lift and trailer, or falling off an elevated pallet.
Slip and Falls
Wet areas, uneven floors, grease spots, debris, empty containers, and poor lighting are common tripping hazards on a warehouse floor. When warehouse areas aren't maintained adequately, it's easy for workers like you to slip, fall, and injure themselves. Workers can also fall off loading docks and ladders.
There are a lot of heavy items being moved around a warehouse every day. When heavy boxes aren't appropriately loaded onto shelves, it increases the chances of those products falling and critically injuring anyone standing under them.
Shoulder pain, swollen hands, tingling fingers, carpal tunnel, and tendinitis are conditions under this type of injury. This type of injury happens from doing the same movements repeatedly, working in awkward positions, and overexerting yourself loading and unloading boxes.
5 Warehouse Safety Tips
Now that we know the possible dangers and injuries in a warehouse, the next step is learning how to prevent them. Here are five essential tips to remember before you start that warehouse shift.
Drive Forklifts Responsibly
It's essential to drive forklifts slowly, be extra cautious when backing up, and pay attention to the signs that warn of dock edges. Also, make sure that the docking plates you drive on are secured and can safely support the load. Something else that should be anchored down? The truck or trailer that you're loading or unloading so it doesn't roll away and cause products to fall and possibly injure someone.
Be Mindful While Working on Conveyor Belts
Conveyor belts come with the warehouse job territory, and workers can get injured in several ways. Because these belts are constantly in motion, it's very likely to get pinched while taking products on and off, so be sure to follow safety procedures. You should also be mindful of handling these products, especially if it requires doing so in an awkward position or performing repetitive motions over a long time. Doing this will help you avoid getting any of the Musculoskeletal disorders we discussed earlier.
Use Correct Form While Lifting Boxes
Speaking of MSDs, these injuries also become an issue on a warehouse job when improperly lifting and moving products around the warehouse. Avoid getting injured by lifting boxes using the proper form – legs shoulder width apart and your back in a natural, upright position. Don't twist while walking; carry the load close to your body. Also, remember that not every box or package should be moved, so don't pick up a load that's too heavy. Instead of overexerting yourself, please get co-workers' help or use a forklift to move it.
Keep the Warehouse Floor Clean and Clear
To avoid slipping and falls, it's essential to make sure all walkways are clean and clear. Clean up spills and sweep up any garbage or debris as soon as you see them. Make sure empty containers are stored in proper areas and no cords are lying around anywhere.
Adhere to All Safety Training and Guidelines
Employers and staffing agencies like Labor Finders understand all the dangers and risks of working in a warehouse. That's why they take great pains to create safety training, guidelines, and protocols so workers can do their jobs safely. From wearing the proper gear to following operating procedures, you can avoid many of the injuries we discussed in this article by reading and following the safety procedures provided by your employer.