Workplace accidents in warehouses are, unfortunately, quite common. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), warehouses are one of the most hazardous places to work, and the fatality rate is above the national average. That’s why it’s extra important for warehouse workers to learn how to safely work in their facility. Read these essential safety tips for warehouse workers to prevent unnecessary workplace accidents.
Wear Necessary Protective Gear
Warehouse workers should consistently wear the protective gear required by their industry. The majority of warehouses require workers to wear steel-toed boots or slip-resistant shoes. Hard hats, gloves, vests, eyewear, and belts are also common. In addition, workers should avoid baggy or loose-fitting clothing that can get caught on equipment and cause a hazard.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Much like with a busy road, workers should look both ways when they cross pathways that are used by forklifts. They should avoid having earbuds in as they may not be able to hear machinery beeping. In the unfortunate event that someone does get hurt, be sure that all employees know where to find the first-aid kit.
Keep Areas Clean and Free of Debris
Walking areas should be free of debris and liquids. Sometimes, when workers are unpacking shipments, there are materials that get on the floor. Someone can trip on these items, or a forklift may have to unsafely move out of the way. This scenario is especially common with spills. It’s vital that workers put out a caution sign and report safety hazards immediately, especially if it involves chemical spills.
Dispose of or Recycle Low-Quality Equipment
If you have machinery that’s constantly breaking or pallets that are in poor condition, they can become hazards in your workplace. Defective machinery creates dangers such as electrocution, gas leaks, and caught-in or between hazards. One tip for working safely with pallets is to check them for splits and loose boards. You should never lift a pallet that is in poor condition. It may break and ruin items while risking workers’ safety.
Inspect Ladders Before Use
Another essential safety tip for warehouse workers is to inspect ladders before stepping on them. Make sure they are in good condition. Also, check the ladder’s stability by hand before using it. Step off the ladder immediately if it doesn’t feel secure.
Stack Heavier Items on Bottom
When stacking items, it’s important to pay attention to their weight. Heavier items should be on the bottom, and lighter ones should be on the top. Be sure to stack in an organized manner, so items are less likely to fall and pose a safety risk. All workers should know the weight restrictions of racks and lifts, as well, so they don’t overload them.