One of the major challenges that warehouse managers around the world face is improving warehouse safety. Heavy equipment and tall ladders used in warehouses pose a major safety hazard. Additionally, warehouse environment increases the risk of workers sustaining slip and fall injuries. Warehouse accidents not only pose a threat to the wellbeing of your employees but can also drag down your warehouse productivity. To improve their warehouse operations, businesses need to adopt warehouse safety procedures and must make it mandatory for every employee to follow warehouse safety rules.
The impact that Warehouse accidents can have
Many experts believe forklifts to be the biggest safety hazard in warehouses. According to a study, around 90 percent of forklifts are involved in some type of an accident over the course of their service life. Around 100,000+ forklifts-related accidents are reported in different parts of the country every year.
Slips, trips, and falls are the number one cause of injury in warehouses. A study reveals that slips, trips, and falls account for 15 percent of the total number of accidental deaths in warehouses. Additionally, these accidents result in the loss of 95 million man hours every year.
Common safety issues in warehouses
Some common warehouse safety hazards include
To optimize existing space, many warehouses stack items up high. Though this helps save space, it can give rise to major safety risks. Stacked items can fall on employees resulting in serious injuries. To address this problem, warehouse managers must provide warehouse safety training to their team members and should educate them on how to prevent items from falling.
When possible, bulky products must be placed on bottom shelves. To prevent objects from falling, managers must opt for stable stacks. When providing safety tips to warehouse workers, managers must stress the importance of keeping stacks as neat as possible.
Slips and falls
Slips and falls are one of the major causes of warehouse accidents. To improve your warehouse safety, instruct your employees to get rid of spills immediately. Make sure the floor is clear of obstructions at all times. Opt for anti-slip floor tape and mats. In addition to sharing warehouse safety tips with your employees, train them to use fall restraints such as guardrails, arning lines, and body harnesses.
Unlike many other hazards in this list that, in most cases, impact one person at a time, fire can jeopardize the wellbeing of several warehouse workers. Fortunately, you can take various steps to steer clear of this safety risk. Train your employees in fire prevention. Make sure your warehouse has enough emergency exists. Install automatic sprinklers throughout your warehouse. Conduct safety audits at regular intervals. During these audits watch for common issues such as exposed wires and leaking flammable fluids.
A study reveals that two workers get crushed every month. To improve warehouse safety, make sure only employees who are trained to use heavy equipment have access to them. Every equipment must be thoroughly checked before and after use. The operator must bring repair issues to the maintenance team’s notice as soon as they encounter them. Train your employees to work near heavy equipment safely.
Items to use for warehouse safety
To help your warehouse workers avoid safety issues while working, provide them proper warehouse safety equipment including safety gloves, eyeglasses, helmets, face shields knee pads, and vests. To help workers avoid straining their back and other body parts while carrying heavy loads, install impact-absorbing industrial floor mats. Train your employees in proper lifting techniques.
Signages and labels
The importance of identifying every item you use in your warehouse cannot be emphasized enough. Make sure every box has a label that describes its contents, its destination, handling instructions and warnings, if any, related to usage.
Use signages that must clearly state who is authorized to enter which area. Signages must designate vehicle traffic and should include information related to flammable and hazardous materials. Use signages to specify smoking zones and areas where smoking is prohibited. Use directional signage to denote fire exits.
Guard rails and anti slip tapes
To protect your workers against all kinds of falls, install guard rails in high-risk areas. To help your employees avoid injuries dues to slips, line up your stairs, inclines, and ledges with anti slip tape.
First aid kit
They say hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. Even after taking adequate precautionary measures, you cannot completely rule out the chances of accidents. To ensure your team is ready when disaster strikes, place first aid kits in different parts of your warehouse. These kits must include user instructions and useful equipment such as tweezers, scissors, and gloves. Make sure every employee is aware of the contents of these boxes and has a basic understanding of how to use different equipment.
Now that everyone’s safety is a priority, here are 6 Ways to Boost Warehouse Productivity.