How to Stay Safe in a Warehouse Environment
Warehouses are vast spaces generally used for the purposes of storage and distribution. They can be full of potential safety risks, but we can all work together in order to minimise them by making sure that proper safety measures are in place.
Forewarned is forearmed as the saying goes, so making sure you are well informed of potential dangers is key. We’ve listed some of the most common safety hazards below.
Warehouse employees are always at risk from falling objects. The heavier the falling object, the more dangerous to the worker! Stock should always be stored safely and evenly, rather than just ‘piling’. Items should then be removed one at a time, to prevent the whole stack from falling.
Slips, trips and falls.
Preventing slips, trips and falls might seem like common sense to most of us, but warehouse environments differ greatly, and accidents like these can be more common than we realise. Warehouse staff may have to work at different height levels, which means they could be surrounded by equipment which they could hit should they fall.
Safety training should always be given to employees emphasising on the awareness of surroundings. General health and safety rules state that doorways, corridors and stairwells should be kept free of clutter and debris. There should be warning signs used for any wet floors, and ropes and/or chains used to cordon off areas where employees are working at heights.
Most chemicals are dangerous, and more so if they’re handled improperly. Storage of chemicals is vitally important, and an inventory essential. Some chemicals can degrade over time which can make them explosive. Containers should be labelled with their contents and expiry date clearly visible. Proper training should be given to employees that handle them – they need to know exactly how to store and dispose of chemicals safely, and also what to do in the event of spillage or other accident.
Forklifts are heavy and cumbersome pieces of machinery and if they’re used improperly they can result in serious injury or worse. All forklift operatives need to be qualified and hold a licence to use a forklift, where they’ll have learned several skills including being aware of weight capacity and not overloading; a common reason why a forklift could tip over!
With the amount of electrical appliances used in warehouses, their power supply has to be a safe one. The use of extension cables should only ever be a temporary solution, and the joining of extensions should be avoided; not only is this a fire hazard, but a tripping hazard too. If you need to use an extension cable in the first place, it may be wiser to have a professionally installed power outlet instead.
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