how to spot common safety hazards in your warehouse

How To Spot Common Safety Hazards In Your Warehouse

Posted on 24th Mar, 2017 | By Lorretta Tatham

Health and safety is vital to the smooth running of any workplace, but this is especially true when it comes to warehouses, especially given the nature of the machinery and heavy cargo often housed in them. To help you maintain high safety standards, we’ve compiled some of the most frequent health and safety issues commonly found in warehouses.

Risks Of Ladders And Access Equipment

ladder in place

When it comes to workplace accidents and injuries, working at height continues to dominate the statistics. Falls to a lower level accounted for almost 14% of all workplace fatalities in the UK in 2014, and it was the most common cause of death for almost every year between 1996 and 2008. It’s been predicted that a vast majority of these injuries with ladders and access equipment could have been prevented with proper workplace education and training. Employers may not be aware of their obligations to provide fall protection for their employees, and meanwhile employees might be ignorant of basic precautions to take when using a ladder. Some of these precautions might be, for example, clearing the space below, properly securing the ladder, and maintaining three points of contact at all times.

Poor Housekeeping

untidy warehouse

It might sound trivial, but keeping your workplace tidy and clean has a major impact on the health and safety of your employees, particularly in warehouses. Leaks and standing water are obviously major hazards, as are pieces of clutter in major passageways or corridors. Both of these can open up workers to the threat of slips, trips and falls; on average, these account for around 40% of workplace injuries in the UK. Another known issue is when clutter and debris blocks the path to the nearest fire exit, possibly leading to panic or injuries in exceptionally dangerous scenarios. Meanwhile, loads that are stacked too high or carelessly close to sprinklers can limit their effect in dire situations. For these reasons and more, it’s crucial to always keep a clean and tidy warehouse.

Hazardous Materials And Chemical Handling

hazardous materials

Tied in closely with appropriate housekeeping, dangerous substances can pose a serious threat to employees, especially if they aren’t fully informed on the potential risks. This is reasonably simple to resolve, however; just ensure that these substances are clearly labelled. When not in use, they should be placed in an appropriate storage location which is visibly marked, with every staff member fully informed of its whereabouts. When it comes to actually handling such materials, Personal Protective Equipment such as goggles and gloves are essential – the onus is on the employers to ensure that everyone concerned has been professional trained to an acceptable standard, and is both confident and competent in the application and usage of such chemicals. If these conditions are not met, employees could be vulnerable to not only immediate injury, but also the development of long-term conditions like Legionnaire’s Disease.

The good news is that any lack of safety education can be easily rectified by employers. At Browns Ladders, we’re passionate about workplace safety, which is why we offer a variety of access equipment training courses aimed at improving exactly that. Amongst them is our manual handling training course, designed for anyone who finds themselves performing physical tasks at work. You can visit the relevant page to book your place, or call us on 01282 615517. We’re happy to help – after all, your safety is our priority.

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