5 of the most common warehouse dangers (and how to mitigate them)
Posted on 27th May, 2021 | By Lorretta Tatham
Many occupations come with an element of risk to them and these hazards are often there day-to-day. With the appropriate risk management procedures in place, these are generally easy to avoid. However, the warehouse can be a workplace with heightened levels of risk, particularly because the dangers aren’t as perceptible as they are in other lines of work. A number of our courses, such as our Working at Height training course could prove to be helpful tools for reducing risks. It is worth knowing these risks, whether you’re a foreman or worker, as they can be influential in preventing future accidents.
Slips and trips
The most common and most frequent of all warehouse dangers, trips, slips, and falls continue to occur as they can be caused by several things. Spillages, especially in a warehouse, aren’t always easy to spot and clean away, as the puddles may be concealed by the colour of the warehouses floor. Moreover, the floor itself is often a solid concrete, which means even a slight fall can prove to be dangerous. The best way to mitigate this to remove any spillages or sawdust from the floor immediately, and it is also advised to invest in slip-resistant footwear and safety mats to further reduce the risk of any dangerous falls.
Whilst this one is also quite common, it remains overlooked, simply because this occurs over time. Persistently moving and handling heavy objects takes a toll on your body, and the damage can be exacerbated if it goes unnoticed or ignored for a significant period. This is why damage to workers’ feet and backs are frequent in a warehouse environment. The best defence against these injuries is personal awareness, as well as the correct and appropriate training. Employees shouldn’t feel obligated to lift things beyond their personal limits and should have a supervisor present just in case. Ergonomic equipment can also go a long way in aiding workers with lifting and moving, so it’s also worth considering.
Objects falling from height remains an underestimated risk in a wide range of environments, including warehouses. With items stacked high and workers moving things from one place to another, any falling object can pose a serious threat, whether it’s light or heavy. The chances of objects falling can be mitigated effectively if things are stacked neatly and if things are cylindrical, so ensure they are stood up to prevent them rolling. One of the most important things is to ensure that hardhat policies are being rigorously adhered to, as it can easily save a life.
Loading and moving machinery
With forklifts, trucks and vans all moving in and out of the warehouse, this area can be loaded with traffic on a daily basis. This increases the risk of being pinned or hit by vehicles, especially if the traffic flow isn’t controlled appropriately. Although this seems easily preventable, these injuries are far more prevalent than one might expect. The best way to mitigate this is to have clearly labelled signs indicating areas where this traffic will be prominent, and employees should be aware of the times during the week when the loading and unloading docks can be accessed. This increased awareness should go a long way in reducing the risk of injury.
Lack of safety and training
A common trend throughout this blog, the majority of these dangers could be avoided with the appropriate training in place. Lack of the correct information and knowledge may pose the greatest risk of all, as it means your team may not be working with sufficient awareness of the threats. Supplying your employees with the correct safety and training, and then ensuring there’s no complacency in following these rules should go a long way in preventing all the aforementioned warehouse dangers!
And if you think anyone could benefit from any additional training or guidance, that’s exactly what we provide here at Browns Safety. We provide a wide range of accredited safety courses on a range of topics, including basic Working at Height training, and access equipment courses. Since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, we also now offer a comprehensive range of online safety courses. We are currently taking bookings for these courses, so if you’d like to reserve your places, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can click through to the main course pages listed above, or alternatively contact us directly by calling us on 01282 615517, or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.