Avoid Accidents and Injuries with these Top Tips for Warehouse Safety
It may come as a surprise to learn that warehouses are amongst the most dangerous work environments possible, with injuries and deaths being a common occurrence. Warehouses, by their very nature, are full of potential hazards, from heavy machinery with moving parts to dangerous chemicals. It’s a good idea to make safety and safety education a top priority for all warehouse employees, whatever their job, to keep unnecessary risks of accidents to a minimum. Here are three of the most common warehouse hazard areas, and how to ensure they don’t cause dangerous and costly workplace accidents:
Racking & Shelving
Shelving and racking manufacturers provide detailed instructions for the installation and maintenance of their expert shelving and racking systems. It is important to adhere to these guidelines in terms of weight capacity and proper methods of loading goods to avoid potentially fatal accidents, not to mention the possible loss of, literally, tons of goods. Forklift collisions are particularly common and contribute to the structural weakening of support beams that could lead to a sudden dangerous collapse. Get in touch with the appropriate shelving and racking manufacturers to organise an inspection and to undertake any repairs that are needed. If improperly used, even the most highly trusted expert shelving and racking systems available are bound to fail.
A fire can put your entire warehouse and everyone who works in it in serious danger. Every warehouse should have clearly marked fire exits, fire extinguishers, alarms and other safeguards in place to prevent fires. Every country has specific sets of codes that must be adhered to in industrial situations, and warehouses are no different. It’s a good idea to keep and distribute copies of your warehouse fire codes and to ensure that all employees undergo regular fire drills as well as fire training courses.
Exposure to Harmful Substances
Harsh chemicals are common in the warehouse setting and are a serious danger to your employees if not properly handled. If your warehouse handles dangerous chemicals (such as acids or asbestos) on a day-to-day basis, ensure that all necessary precautions are taken for your employees’ safety, including giving them protective gear, masks and gloves, good ventilation, and rigid safety processes and training programs. Remember that any employee who feels they are not being sufficiently protected from these hazards can flag your warehouse to officials for an inspection, which could result in temporary closure or a hefty fine.
These are only three of many areas of warehouse operation that require advanced safety procedures and extra care on behalf of workers and management alike. It is generally a good idea to enlist the aid of a safety consultant to ensure that you comply with the necessary safety standards, too.
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