Safety is one of the biggest concerns when running a warehouse business. The worry stems from warehouse employees experiencing injuries and fatalities when working in storage facilities. The victim’s number can be brought down if warehouse safety would be treated as a priority. 

Supposing you manage a warehouse, you should know what the most common workplace injuries an employee can sustain are to create a safe environment and know how to react to provide them with first-aid. 

A list of common workplace injuries

The first step to improve warehouse safety is to understand what the most common workplace injuries are and determine what’s causing them. Let’s check the most common factors that trigger accidents. 

Heavy equipment

When using heavy equipment like heavy plates or forklifts to manage the warehouse content, injuries and fatalities can happen. Employees are at risk of falling between the lift and the trailer, being run or hit by forklifts, or falling from an elevated platform. Heavy equipment accidents are more likely to happen in a crowded space when the employees receive inadequate safety training. 

Chemicals

Supposing your warehouse is used for storing hazardous chemicals, your workers can be exposed to accidental spills. Chemical spills and leaks threaten their safety, and sadly there is little you can do to prevent them from happening. 

Slippery or uneven floors

A great number of warehouse injuries result from slips, trips, and falls caused by slippery or uneven floors. An accumulation of grease, residue, cords, or debris can also trigger a slip or trip accident. 

Machine entanglement

Unfortunately, most accidents that happen because machine entanglement are severe. This type of injury occurs when the workers get entangled with large or dangerous equipment while working. 

Falling objects

There’s always the risk of falling objects in warehouses that use vertical shelves to store goods. Most times, incompetent operations or human error causing objects to fall, and you can prevent them through training. 

Warehouse safety tips

All warehouse businesses should implement a safety plan. If you already have one, good for you, but you should also know that safety doesn’t end with implementation, and you need to invest resources into the execution of the safety procedures you create. The following paragraphs cover some recommendations to prevent workplace injuries. 

Ensure your team adheres to the personal protective equipment policy

The employees who work in warehouses are exposed to a high number of hazards, and the personal protective equipment can protect them from many of them when used properly. Ensure that all workers use PPE you provide them with when they’re working in the warehouse. 

Here is a list of the items your workers should use as part of the PPE policy.

– Protective eye-wear when they operate equipment that generates projectiles, sparks, or dangerous chemicals that can affect their eyes. 

– Protective footwear to protect their feet from being injured in case they’re run over by heavy equipment machinery or crushed by heavy falling objects. 

– High visibility clothing to make them visible to machinery operators and other workers. When they wear high vis gear, they stand out from the surroundings, and the other workers can easily spot them. The ones working during the night should also have clothing with reflective tape. 

– Gloves when they perform regular lifting or lifting of dangerous items. 

Ensure all machine operators hold licenses and are certified

All your workers should complete correct training before using any piece of equipment and hold a valid license. You can ask the team leaders to check if the workers hold a valid license to operate the equipment they need to drive on their shift. Another solution is to install operator licensing measures to ask operators to present their credential cords to be able to utilise the machinery. 

Provide proper courses and training

Providing your workers with adequate training about warehouse safety methods can ensure they know the consequences of an unsafe action. It encourages them to follow the procedures closely and ensures that your company isn’t held liable when one of them doesn’t respect the regulations. If you fail to train your employees and they experience a workplace accident, they can hire a UK Law solicitor and ask for compensation. 

Create a designated smoking area away from any hazard

Your warehouse may contain multiple flammable materials and gases, and the last thing you need is one of the workers smoking close to them. To ensure the sources of ignition are safely contained, you need to keep all fire sources away. The best way to protect your workers and the workplace is to create and enforce a designated smoking area placed away from all ignition sources. 

All employees wishing to smoke have to do it in the designated area to prevent accidents and ensure errant lighters or cigarette buts don’t ignite a hazardous material. 

Ensure that you install effective signage

It’s imperative for the warehouse to have warning signage displayed correctly. The types of signage necessary in a storage area are

– Traffic flow guidance

– Speed limits

– Designation of specific areas

– Signs warning of danger

According to the type of warehouse you manage, other types of signage can be included. Ensure that all warnings are clear and unambiguous and your workers know their meaning. All employees should know upon sighting the sign what they have to do to protect themselves. 

Ensure your equipment is safety checked and maintained through daily check-ups

To ensure that your machinery is safe for operations, your workers should conduct daily safety and maintenance checks. Impose that all workers need to check the equipment they’re supposed to use at the start of each shift. During the checks, they should look at standard components to ensure that they can operate them optimally and safely. 

The units that fail the pre-start check should be removed from operations until they are repaired or replaced. 

Final thoughts

Working in a warehouse without the correct procedures can be hazardous. But if you have the correct safety measures in place, you can prevent incidents.