Working in a warehouse can be very dangerous. Warehouses are filled with heavy equipment, falling objects, stacked goods, tall shelving storage and potentially dangerous situations. Let’s examine safety tips for employees to prevent warehouse accidents and how managers can reduce accidents on the job.

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Safe Lifting

Lifting accidents are common in warehouse facilities where products are moved constantly. Many back and neck strains can be eliminated by paying attention, lifting properly or getting help.

• Examine what needs to be lifted, and if it’s too large or awkward to move or lift by yourself get help from another person.

• Use a piece of equipment like a forklift or a hand truck to lift and move heavy objects that are too heavy for an individual to move.

• Lift properly. Standing close to the object to be moved, squat, grip it firmly with your hands, lift up your shoulders and head and then use your legs to stand while lifting the object.

Taking a moment to decide the best method for lifting and using safe lifting practices can prevent severe neck and back injuries that can result from improper lifting.

Forklift Safety

Statistic show that in 2015, there may be an average of about 85 fatal accidents due to forklifts. Using these tips may not only prevent serious or fatal injuries, but can actually speed up production.

• Get current training on the specific type of forklift you’ll be running. Basic training doesn’t mean you’re qualified to run all varieties of forklifts.

• Request a forklift inspection if the equipment does not appear to be working correctly.

• Don’t run a forklift until you know its dimensions and lifting capabilities.

Ladder Safety

Many materials in warehouses are stacked or placed in hard to reach locations such as racks or tall shelving units, which require the use of a ladder to reach goods. These tips may reduce falling accidents and electrocution in addition to getting the job done more efficiently and faster.

• Use a ladder designed for the job at hand. Ladders should be longer than the area you need to reach and rated to support your weight and the weight of the object you’re moving.

• Prevent electrocution by using ladders, which are not constructed of metal when working near live electricity.

• Have a friend hold the ladder while you’re on it to secure it.

• Prevent tools from falling and causing an accident by attaching them to your belt or a rope.

Protective Clothing

• Wear shoes with nonskid soles to prevent slips on wet floors, ladders and loading docks.

• Hard hats may be required when there is a lot of overhead activity in a warehouse and potential falling objects.

• Safety glasses when working with special equipment or chemicals.

• Gloves can protect hands from rough surfaces and sharp objects or may be needed for protection when running a high speed checkweigher.

Employees wearing protective clothing could be preventing a variety of serious accidents, which could reduce time off the job.

Make Safety a Priority

Each employee that works in a warehouse should make safety a top priority when entering or leaving a building.

• Make sure you keep protective clothing on hand and wear it when warranted.

• Be on the lookout for falling objects from overhead shelves.

• Never run down the isles because you could cause an accident.

• Read and obey warning signals and signs for your protection.

• Always be ready for the unexpected emergency.

Manager Responsibilities

• The manager is responsible for preventing accidents and enforcing safety measures.

• Managers determine designated work lines for vehicles and signs to alert workers of hazards.

• Managers should supply the most efficient and safest equipment for employees.

• They are responsible for conducting general safety training and specific training and equipment for machine operators.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics there are an average of 15,000 injures reported annually affecting warehouse employees. Stay safe, and always check out each piece of equipment before using it. Make sure you have training and safety gear.

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