Warehouse work is inherently dangerous. This is why workers in the warehouse must be aware of any potential dangers that they may encounter while on the job. Not only that, but all personnel must take all warehouse safety issues seriously. This ensures that no safety risk goes ignored. Here are the most common warehouse safety issues, and here is how to avoid them!
Before we talk about safety, you need to understand the role that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) plays in the whole process of keeping workers safe. OSHA’s purpose is to set regulations and requirements for various industries like warehouse work. Some jobs will require OSHA-approved training classes to begin work fully. When workplaces do not follow OSHA requirements, they may charge a fine and take legal action.
OSHA has had a very large impact in the sculpting of safety plans in workplaces over the years. Since OSHA began its requirements in 1970, workplace injuries and deaths have gone down across the board. Even so, there are still thousands of accidents that take place in warehouses every year. This is why it is always important to keep OSHA regulations at the forefront of your mind.
Some of the most dangerous accidents in warehouse environments involve electricity. In most situations, workers are exposed to electrical hazards while maintaining equipment or coming into contact with the improperly shielded ground to line faults. One of the biggest factors that cause this to happen is when companies (in an effort to save time and money) have their own workers try to fix the electrical problems. However, no matter how tempting it may be, it is always essential to call a licensed electrician when dealing with any electrical hazards in the workhouse.
Ground fault electrical shock happens to be one of the most common electrical hazards to look out for. As such, OSHA requires that all employers in charge of the property or worksite use ground-fault circuit interrupters or an assured equipment grounding conductor program. This will minimize the risks of being shocked from any receptacle outlets and cord sets by covering up charged surfaces in the workplace.
Failure To Wear Proper Equipment
Another substantial subsection of the accidents incurred in the warehouse is caused by the failure to wear proper equipment. In almost every setting, warehouse workers are required to wear the proper personal equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from their specific workplace hazards. Because different jobs require different PPE types, these are often supplied by the warehouse manager or another managing party.
Even with all the PPE regulations, some of the most common OSHA violations in warehouses are cited as employees not wearing PPE. This situation will surely increase the risk of accidents and injuries, resulting in costly fines against the warehousing company.
One of the more common issues that result from not wearing PPE includes respiratory issues. This is unfortunate, as the right respiratory gear helps to protect against fumes, dust, and other toxic substances in the air. If you’re exposed to these substances, again and again, you can develop a severe illness that could cost you your life.
It is the warehouse manager’s responsibility to supply their employees with a complete of the appropriate PPE. Safety training programs should be implemented to ensure that every worker knows how to use their PPE properly.
It will probably come as no surprise that falling objects are another common cause of injury in warehouses. Warehouses tend to stack inventory, as this is the most efficient way to use a lot of space. While it may be beneficial for productivity, it definitely comes with risks concerning injuries from falling objects. If you work in a warehouse, you will probably be trained on the best techniques on stacking to help prevent objects from falling.
One of the best ways to prevent falling objects from becoming an issue is by creating stable stacks. One of the better tips that we can provide is to place heavier items on the bottom shelves whenever possible. This will create a better base for the whole shelf. When dealing with cylindrical items, try to always store them with the flat side facing down. Lastly, when transferring a stack of items with such things as pallets and forklifts, ensure that the weight does not exceed the specifications of the machinery.
Falls and Slips
Even though the very idea of slipping around may seem funny to some, the prospect and damage that can come from slip and fall accidents can be very serious. Out of all the workplace injuries that occur every year, OSHA has found that over twelve percent of them were due to slip and fall accidents. Here are some guidelines to help prevent these in your warehouse.
Clear the floor of any obstructions, such as holes, cracks, or loose cords. Clean up all spills immediately while properly marking them with caution signage. Anti-slip floor tape and mats can and should be used to lessen the risk of slips and falls.
Next, make sure your employees are trained to use all available fall restraints in the warehouse. These may include body harnesses, guardrails, and warning lines. These items are most helpful when using scissor lifts and other lifting machinery. In some rarer cases, factory safety nets can be used to catch someone who has fallen. These steps can help to reduce the risk of slips and falls in a warehouse setting.
Fires are both one of the most preventable and one of the most common warehouse accidents. They can also be some of the most dangerous. Unlike many other types of common warehouse accidents, a single fire can hurt a lot of people in a short amount of time. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of fire in a warehouse.
To start with, every warehouse needs to get the correct building permits for their business. These permits will ensure that steps have been taken to install fire preventative measures. These could be anything from providing enough emergency exits for all workers to installing automatic sprinklers.
It should be obvious to you that warehouse work is dangerous work. This is why paying attention to the common warehouse safety issues and learning how to avoid them is so important for anyone who works in a warehouse. Always remember that anything you spot and fix now could save the life of yourself or one of your coworkers in the future. If you are in the need of any pallet rack protection modules, along with any other racking needs, do not hesitate to reach out to Rack Safety Products!