Every year, there are about 3 million Americans who suffer from workplace-related injuries and illnesses.
Many of these injuries and illnesses take place inside of warehouses where people are routinely subjected to dangerous working conditions.
If you own a warehouse or help run one, you should take the right steps to keep your employees safe. It’ll prevent people from being out of work and protect you from having to deal with costly lawsuits.
There are tons of safety tips that you can provide for your employees to keep them safe when they’re on the job.
Check out 8 tips people should follow while working in a warehouse below.
1. Put on Safety Equipment Before Walking Into a Warehouse
Safety should really start prior to an employee even walking into a warehouse.
There is a lot of different safety equipment that can be worn to prevent injuries. You should have this safety equipment on hand and encourage employees to use it.
This safety equipment should include:
- Safety goggles
- Earplugs or earmuffs
- Hard hats
- Back braces
- And more
Each piece of safety equipment will protect a different part of the body in the event that an accident occurs.
Something like a hard hat could be the difference between someone suffering from a slight headache for an hour and someone suffering from a concussion that keeps them out of work for weeks.
2. Make Yourself Aware of Your Surroundings at All Times
There is a lot going on within a warehouse at any given moment.
There are forklifts being driven around. There are pallets being raised and lowered. There are even people running around trying to get tasks finished quickly.
When you’re working in a warehouse, you should be on high alert and never let your guard down. You should scan the premises constantly and look for any signs of potential trouble.
By staying aware of what’s happening, you can avoid accidentally bumping into someone or something and causing an accident.
3. Take the Proper Training Courses Before Using Warehouse Equipment
When you work inside of a warehouse, there’s a good chance you’re going to use some mechanical equipment to make certain tasks easier.
This warehouse equipment might include:
- Conveyor belts
- And more
You should take the proper training courses and/or obtain the right licenses before using this equipment. If you attempt to use a piece of equipment you’re not trained to use, it could prove to be disastrous.
4. Report Any Unsafe Working Conditions to a Warehouse Supervisor
There are going to be lots of times when you come across unsafe working conditions in your warehouse.
You might see a spill that needs to be cleaned up. Or you might see someone get behind the wheel of a forklift when they’re clearly in no condition to do so.
Rather than ignoring the unsafe conditions and hoping for the best, you should speak with a warehouse supervisor right away and let them know what you saw.
You could potentially stop an accident from happening simply by letting others know about a dangerous condition.
5. Get Into the Habit of Sweeping Up Floors Regularly
Falls result in some of the most common warehouse injuries. People fall on a regular basis and injure their arms, legs, wrists, heads, and more.
More often than not, people fall because of something on the ground that didn’t get cleaned up. You’ll usually find sawdust, water, dirt, and more on a warehouse floor.
Instead of spending your days walking around on these things, you should make an effort to sweep the warehouse floor every few hours. It’ll prevent them from building up on the floor and creating a slippery surface.
You should also consider making your warehouse floors safer by working with a company like Industrial Polymers. They can create safety pads, heavy equipment surfaces, non-skid surfaces, and more for your warehouse.
6. Learn the Right Way to Lift Heavy Items
Back injuries are another common occurrence inside of most warehouses. There are many warehouse employees who choose not to lift heavy items the right way and pay the price for it.
When lifting heavy boxes and other items, you should use your legs, not your back, to do it. This will help you avoid the back injuries that so often come along with lifting items that are too heavy.
You should also use the equipment available to you to lift items that are simply too heavy for you. That’s what the equipment is there for, after all.
7. Avoid Using Alcohol or Drugs Before or During Warehouse Shifts
This should really go without saying. But if you work in a warehouse, you should not, under any circumstances, use alcohol or drugs before or during a shift.
You should be especially mindful of this if you operate heavy equipment like forklifts. But even if you don’t, you could make your warehouse very unsafe by using alcohol or drugs before or during a shift.
8. Take Breaks on a Regular Basis and Drink Plenty of Water
Working in a warehouse can be a very daunting task. Warehouses are often very warm and will take a toll on your body over time if you don’t give yourself breaks.
You should take breaks at least once every few hours and step outside to get some fresh air. You should also drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
If you feel as though you aren’t getting the breaks you deserve, speak with your supervisor about it immediately. You need breaks to keep your mind and body sharp as you work.
Follow These Safety Tips to Keep Your Warehouse Safe
The safety tips listed here will help turn your warehouse into a much safer place right away.
By adhering to them, you’ll notice a big difference in the way your warehouse operates. You’ll also notice a downtick in the number of injuries and illnesses that employees have to deal with day in and day out.
Check out our blog to learn about other ways you can make your warehouse a safer and more productive place.