Whether you realize it or not, there are many potential safety hazards inside every warehouse in the country. Your job as a business owner or company manager is to reduce these risks by providing a safe environment for all of your workers. The first place to start when determining what safety measures to implement in the workplace is OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). OSHA is operated by the federal government and sets specific rules and regulations that must be followed in the workplace. You must first understand all of these rules to create a safe working environment for your company.
To properly set warehouse safety standards in place, you must first recognize what the potential hazards are in the warehouse environment. According to OSHA, the risk of having a fatal injury happen in a warehouse environment is higher than the national average for other types of employment. This means that you must take special care to insure you warehouse setting meets all the necessary safety rules. OSHA also lists some of the main warehouse hazards as forklifts, storage, problems with electrical wiring, potential fall risks, and failure of employees to use protective equipment
Now that specific warehouse hazards have been recognized, you can look at some of the warehouse safety tips that will make the workplace safer and reduce the risk of injury.
- Forklifts– Forklifts are one of the leading causes of injury in the warehouse. To reduce the risk of injury, all forklift drivers must be certified and obtain OSHA safety training. They should never driver more than 5mph, and their load should always be less than the maximum weight limits. All forklifts should be equipped with a back-up signal and all areas within the warehouse, where the forklift will be used, should have identifiable signage.
- Loading Docks– The loading docks, along with other open pit areas have the potential for an employee to fall and be injured when performing truck unloading or loading. If the drop-off is over four feet high, the ledge should be roped off or have safety cones placed in front of it.
- Reduce Risk of Falling – In a warehouse setting, it is important that managers and workers maintain clear and clutter-free aisles. This will prevent unnecessary injuries due to falls. This includes the removal of any electrical wiring or any other type or wiring, strings, or cables that is strung across the aisle.
- Storage Containers – Improper stacking of storage containers is a big problem in many large warehouses. Although you may want to store as many supplies as possible in the space allotted, employees should be careful not to go over the recommended height limit, or use an interlocking system. This will reduce the risk of the boxes tipping over and causing damage to the goods inside, and injury to your employee.
- Training – A good way to increase the safety of your warehouse is to make sure that each employee receives proper OSHA training. This will give them a clear understanding of the safety rules and regulation and keep your warehouse in compliance with federal and state regulations. It will also stress the importance of using safety gear.
These vital warehouse safety tips will improve the safety conditions in your workplace and reduce the overall risk of injury. This, in turn, can lead to increased productivity and reduce costs. Proper training on all the company’s safety regulations is key to successful implementation. Training your current workers and new hires should become a priority for you company.
Written by the team at Premier Warehousing Services.