How to Avoid Hazards in a Warehouse Workplace
Workplace safety is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy work environment. It ensures the health and safety of workers and minimizes the risk of injury on the job. It is important both personally and legally to maintain your workplace so that it is as safe as possible for employees.
There is no denying that the warehouse is a work environment that can pose certain risks; however, these can easily be avoided by taking the proper precautions to avoid hazards. This guide will outline the steps that you can take to avoid some of the most common hazards that occur within the warehouse.
Have and maintain safe storage
Having the correct storage for tools, goods and other warehouse equipment is a key safety feature within a warehouse environment. The optimum storage within a warehouse would be suited to the ergonomics of the building itself. Maximise the layout of your warehouse and ensure that all of the best spots for storage are being used for just that.
The following are some more simple ways in which you can manage safe storage solutions to minimise the risk of hazards in the warehouse:
- The storage you choose should be logically positioned to avoid populus and congested areas. This way, there is a reduced risk of an accident involving a worker and storage.
- Don’t overstock or overfill storage units or racking as this could lead to items falling off and injuring workers.
- Keep the storage areas tidy and organised by establishing a simple system that makes goods easy to retrieve and put back. An example of this could be to put the heavier goods towards the bottom reducing the height they need to be carried down from or placing the most frequently used items in the middle for easy access.
Ensuring proper manual handling
Incorrect manual handling causes up to one third of all workplace injuries, which is why it is crucial to ensure that workers are aware of how to properly handle goods when lifting them. Improper manual handling can lead to a range of issues such as arm and leg pain and repetitive strains in the body.
It is recommended that when lifting heavy goods, workers should bend their hips and knees to squat down to the load they wish to handle. Then, when lifting they should keep it close to their body, straightening out their legs as well. This method s a practice that can help to avoid a major hazard in the warehouse environment.
The use of a forklift
Heavy palletes and large loads are one of the trickiest things to manage when working in a warehouse environment. But by using a forklift, you are able to easily lift and manouvere any goods needed.
As mentioned prior, incorrect manual handling causes up to one third of all workplace injuries. With this in mind, many warehouses use forklifts to help lift and move their heavy loads. Certification is needed to operate these machines safely but once obtained, forklifts can save you time, energy and most importantly lessen the risk of workplace hazards.
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Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The use of personal protective equipment is essential when considering how to reduce risks within the warehouse. The following PPE is recommended for the warehouse environment.
- Hard hat – Lessens the risk of injury to the head from falling objects or items.
- High visibility clothing – Hi-vis clothing is recommended for busy areas with lots of traffic as they help to make drivers more aware of their surroundings.
- Safety goggles/glasses – Protective eye wear will help protect you eye from any debris, chemicals or other substances that could get into your eyes. This kind of hazard can lead to serious consequences.