You certainly know that safety is the most important thing in your warehouse. And we are all aware of the most common hazards such as falls, being struck by an object, or machine accidents. But what are some of the other safety hazards you need to be aware of in your warehouse? Here are 5 hazards you shouldn’t overlook and how to prevent an accident from happening.
Ensuring safety while operating a forklift is only one part of the process. You also need to ensure that your employees are safe around the forklifts. There are many potential hazards with these warehouse vehicles, including the way they’re maneuvered, which is different than driving a car. There are other hazards such as blind spots, the stability of the load, and the speed. Refueling the forklift should also have special consideration.
Most of us know the ergonomics of safe lifting, whether we practice them or not. We lift with our legs, not our backs, to avoid significant injury. But there are more considerations in manual lifting than just the mechanics. People will often lift things that are too heavy for a manual load. It may also simply be too big or difficult to grasp. If the contents are unbalanced or can move while being transported, that can also cause added strain on your body. An injury can occur if the item is too far out of reach, so the act of picking it up can cause tension.
The most important thing to note is that material storage should not create undue hazards for your team. For example, items shouldn’t be stacked higher than is safe. But there are other safety considerations in terms of storage. Storage areas shouldn’t be full of accumulated materials that can cause tripping or fire hazards. Materials should always be store safety in terms of compatibility. Items that can create fire hazards shouldn’t be stored with highly flammable objects.
Not a physical hazard itself, most people overlook this aspect of warehouse safety. Communication about hazards is just as important as preventing the hazards, to begin with. If a hazard is observed, too many people will ignore it without either telling a supervisor or working on a solution themselves. Make sure you reinforce that communication is just as big a part of your safety program as avoiding hazards.
Finally, we want to mention the science of ergonomics. This is the idea that our bodies can work more optimally when we recognize how they function and create a more comfortable environment. Yes, a warehouse is hard manual work, but that doesn’t mean we should expect back or foot pain as a result. Encourage your team to utilize tools available to ensure that their bodies are working with their natural motions, not against them.
How can you enhance your safety plan in 2020? FJC Personnel can help, so call us today.