According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private industry employers reported approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017. Nearly one-third of these injuries and illnesses resulted in days away from work. In addition, a total of 5,147 fatal workplace injuries were reported in 2017.
It’s clear that warehouse safety is an incredibly important aspect of your business both to keep your company running successfully and to keep your employees healthy and safe.
Here are the top 10 warehouse safety hazards to keep on your radar when performing your warehouse safety checks.
Working with heavy equipment offers many opportunities for injury. Make sure equipment is properly maintained and in good working order. Plus, it’s important to ensure that your employees are properly trained on how to use any heavy equipment.
It should come as no surprise that the heavy equipment frequently used in warehouse operations quickly becomes one of the biggest concerns for workplace safety.
Keep the moving parts of heavy equipment labeled clearly with the potential safety concern. And as always, be sure to provide continuing education on how to use these machines – and avoid the moving parts.
According to OSHA reports, two workers die every month from crushing injuries typically caused by heavy machines and materials. Similar to heavy equipment injuries, it’s important to train employees in how to move and store heavy materials – and the equipment used to move them – safely to avoid these injuries.
Sprains, strains, and tears were the leading type of non-fatal injury in manufacturing in 2017. Ensure that your employees have proper training in how to lift and move heavy equipment and materials – and follow up to be sure that everyone is using these techniques. Improper lifting can cause extremely serious injuries.
Slips and Trips
Accidents happen, but it’s important to take every precaution to avoid as many of them as possible.
Be aware of any loose materials on the floor, poor lighting, spills, and warehouse steps or uneven flooring and correct these dangers as soon as possible. Hazard signs are important to implement while working on more long-term corrections.
Fatal falls were at their highest in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) in 2017.
Check that all safety railings and guard rails are up to standard and will keep your employees safe from this incredibly dangerous – and incredibly common – workplace injury.
Solvents, flammable substances, and carcinogens are some of the harmful substances that can cause injury or death at work.
Store potentially harmful substances correctly and provide proper safety equipment like eye and mouth protection when required. Also, ensure that your workplace does not contain substances like asbestos that can seriously harm your workers.
Warehouse fires can be devastating to your business and your employees. Luckily, it’s also extremely preventable.
Clearly marking your fire exits, providing fire extinguishers, storing flammable materials properly, and not leaving wires exposed are quick ways to make your warehouse safer in the event of a fire. Maintaining a clear flue space is also a vital part of fire safety, allowing fires to vent and sprinklers to reach the fire.
Working in a warehouse means exposure to products often stacked on racks above the heads of employees. Therefore, it’s possible for items to fall from those racks and cause injury or get lost in the flue space.
Luckily, the solution to this potential problem is quick and affordable. Adrian’s Pallet Rack Safety product line offers effective, simple, and affordable solutions for work area protection and flue space compliance. Our products do not require any tools or retrofitting, install in seconds, and are more affordable than many other safety solutions.
Lack of Education
A common thread in preventing all these workplace injuries is education. It’s the responsibility of the manager to provide the proper education on operating machinery, lifting, and other potential dangers.
It is not worth the potential time and money saved by skipping training. It’s important to keep your employees safe, and injuries will cost your company more money in the long run – especially if they are due to the company’s negligence.