More than 145,000 people work in warehouses. The fatal injury rate for the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all other industries. Keeping this in mind, it is important for warehouse employees to understand the potential hazards in the workplace, as well as the safety measures to be taken in order to prevent those hazards.
Common Causes and Locations of Warehouse Hazards
DOCKS: Forklift running off the dock, falling product, equipment strikes a person So what can you do? Drive forklifts slowly with caution, ensure dock plates can support the load, and don't allow anyone to jump on the dock.
FORKLIFTS: Turnovers So what can you do? Train ALL operators to ensure they can operate forklifts properly, maintain all equipment, make sure the condition of the forklift is safe, never exceed 5 mph, avoid horseplay, and do not handle loads that are heavier than the forklift. Be sure to make all employees aware of potential dangers.
STORAGE: Falling materials can injure workers. So what can you do? Stack loads straight, place heavy loads on lower shelves, remove objects one at a time, and keep passageways clear.
MANUAL LIFTING: Back injuries So what can you do? Provide task-specific training, minimize the need for manual lifting, and ask for help if something is too heavy to lift on your own.
MISCELLANEOUS: Issues stemming from failure to wear protective gear, and inadequate safety provisions. So what can you do? Establish provisions for emergency exits and evacuation, layout procedures for accounting for all employees and visitors to the site, and make sure all employees know where fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment are located.
Courtesy of OSHA