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Warehouse Safety

The warehouse is a busy environment often full of machinery and heavy equipment. It is important to make sure that when working in such an environment that you follow health and safety procedures. This helps to prevent any accidents from happening.

There are a whole range of hazards that can take place in a warehouse. Find out what they are and how to avoid them.

Worker Falling on Wet Floor Worker Falling on Wet Floor © Gino Santa Maria

Slips and trips:

Slipping and tripping is a common occurrence in warehouses. This is due to obstacles across the floor such as spilt liquid and cardboard boxes. The majority of these can be avoided providing certain steps are taken to do so.

  • Loose materials such as sawdust and scraps of cardboard should be cleared up off the floor. This is to prevent people from slipping on them.
  • Spilt liquids should be wiped up straight away. Wet floor signs should be put out to warn people whilst the area dries.
  • Uneven floors with ridges and unnecessary steps should be removed. This is to prevent people from tripping over them. It can be difficult to see them even without carrying boxes of equipment around.
  • Cardboard boxes and pallets should be kept out of the way. They should be stored at the side of walkways rather than in the middle of them.
  • Dark areas within factories and warehouses should be properly lit. This allows workers to see exactly where they are going and what lies ahead of them.

Worker Falling off of Ladder Worker Falling off of Ladder © rorf33

Falls:

Workplace accidents are largely made up of people that have fallen. Falls can take place above ground level and on ground level where workers can slip or trip. It is important to be aware of your surroundings when working in warehouses. This is particularly important when close to loading docks.

Any large drops within the warehouse should be properly safeguarded with guard railings. This is to prevent people going over the drop.

Fires:

Fires are extremely dangerous and get out of control quickly risking the lives of anyone in its path. Fires are actually one of the most preventable accidents. If the correct security measures and precautions are in place fires are avoidable.

A warehouse should have proper building permits, clearly marked exits and fire extinguishers in the building. A fire procedure should also be in place that everyone can follow. To prevent fires from occurring…

  • Worn and exposed wires should never be used. They should be replaced right away.
  • Leaking pipes and machinery that leak flammable fluids and gases should not be used until they are fixed.
  • Electrical cords should not run under carpets.

Crushed:

There are people crushed to death in the workplace every month using machinery.

To prevent this, workers should have enough training on machinery they are expected to use. This ensures that they know exactly how it works. It is important to avoid any moving machines in loading docks. Anything stored above ground level should be properly secured to prevent it from falling on top of someone.

toxic substances © Thomas Söllner

Harmful Substances:

There are often harmful substances present in factories and warehouses that workers get exposed to. It is vital that the correct measures are in place around these substances. This is to protect the health of workers.

If an employee is worried that they are not being looked after properly they can flag the warehouse for inspection.

Heavy handling and lifting:

Failure to lift heavy goods properly can lead to severe health problems such as a bad back. Training courses are available to teach employees how to lift properly to prevent this from happening.

Protective clothing:

Protective clothing is important for protecting certain areas of a person’s body. Hard hats are important for protecting the skull. Steel cap shoes protect the feet and high visibility clothing is worn so that workers can be seen.

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