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Top 10 Health and Safety Issues in the Warehouse

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While there are a lot of jobs that put you in danger and make it difficult for you to do your job without risking your life in one way or another, working in a warehouse can be an incredibly dangerous job and many people don’t even realize it.

While some of the reasons might be obvious, there are some health and safety issues that might surprise you. The following are the top 10 health and safety hazards that you will find in most warehouses around the world.

1. Heavy Equipment

If you happen to work in a warehouse on a regular basis while using heavy equipment, it’s probably natural for you to get incredibly comfortable using the stuff. While this can be a big advantage in terms of your productivity, it can be a disadvantage because you might forget about the danger of the machine.

You should make sure that all of your employees are well aware of the potential dangers from machines in the warehouse including a forklift. Always be careful and cautious when you are operating any of the machinery so that you can so what you can do in order to try and avoid any accidents from heavy equipment.

2. Slips And Trips

While this might be one of the more easily avoidable healthy and safety dangers on this list, there are a lot of accidents like this that happen in the warehouse. If you want to try and prevent as many slips or trips as you can in your warehouse, there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind.

Make sure you get rid of some important factors that result in tripping such as loose materials on the floor, liquid, boxes, poorly lit areas and unnecessary steps or bumps in the warehouse. Lastly, you can use anti-slip tape on the floor to help improve the grip that you experience on the floor. 

3. Falls

Next to slips and trips, falls are one of the other accidents that make up a large number of all the work place related incidents, especially when it comes to warehouse injuries. No matter where you might work, falling is always an issue and it a very common cause of injury in warehouses.

Make sure you always stay aware of your surroundings so that you can understand where you are, make sure there are proper guard rails in all of the necessary areas and make sure you know why you need them in a warehouse and how you can install them into your warehouse.

4. Fires

This is one of the most overlooked and forgotten warehouse hazards that you will find but it can also be one of the most devastating if it happens to your warehouse. Luckily it is a very preventable hazard and you can help to do so by having building permits, clearly marking your exits and making sure you have fire extinguishers all over when you need them.

Last but not least, experts recommend avoiding leaving exposed wires around the warehouse as well as leaking flammable fluids and also, make sure you do not run some cords under the carpet. 

5. Heavy Materials

On average, OSHA reports that two workers die every month on the job from being crushed and a lot of this has to do with not being properly trained on the equipment they are using. Ensure that you provide every single employee with more than enough training when it comes to press machines.

Additionally, you should try and make sure that you avoid loading docks and be weary of any heavy materials that could possibly fall and crush one of your employees.

6. Harmful Substances

This is really going to depend where you are working and what the warehouse is but there are some serious concerns when it comes to asbestos and other harmful materials. Remember, if there are any employees that feel as if they might be working in conditions that are not right or suitable for work, they can have your warehouse flagged for inspection by a third party.

Always make sure that your employees are cared for and well taken care of so that they stay happy at all times and you won’t have to worry about any surprise inspections.

7. Ergonomics

Not only does everything around your employees have to be in proper and working shape, but it is important that your employees themselves stay in good shape and take care of themselves and their bodies. If they happen to mistreat their body, then they can be at a bigger risk for pain or injury.

There are a lot of ergonomic techniques that you can take to ensure your employees do things the right way and you should always ensure that your employees are taught the proper way of lifting so that they don’t lift the wrong way and injure themselves to put you at risk for a liability.

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8. Moving Parts

If you have noticed anything, you’ll find that one of the biggest concerns for workplace safety has to do with heavy machinery. You need to make sure you are always paying close attention to the warning labels on the machines you are operating.

Most of the machines you look at and use are probably going to have moving parts and they can be very dangerous if not used the proper way. If they do not use the machine properly, then it can results in some really serious injury or even death in some serious accidents.

9. Falling Objects

Unfortunately, there are a lot of warehouses that have items stacked high and that means that falling objects are always a health hazard when stacking objects incredibly high on shelves or other platforms.

If you want to do everything you can to try and avoid this problem, it's recommended to keep heavy loads stacked ad neatly as you can so that the load does not shift on you when you carry or move it from place to place. Additionally, if you happen to have objects that are cylindrical in shape, stacking them the right way can avoid the problem of having them roll of the shelf you stacked them on. 

10. Lack Of Education

As unfortunate as it can be for just about anybody involved in this situation, there are a lot of situations where warehouses tend to skip the training aspect for their employees because it helps to save them both time and money with their employees.

With this particular situation, it’s possible that skipping the training can lead to an increase in lawsuits and complaints which can actually cost a lot more in the long run. If you do not have proper education in your warehouse, then there is no way that it will perform at it’s fullest potential and odds are good that it will not run as smoothly as it should.

As you can pretty clearly see, the warehouse of most places can be a very hazardous place to work and you might never know what you are getting yourself into on a daily basis when you head to work. As always, be sure to follow just about every safety precaution you can follow in order to ensure a safe experience at all times.

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Topics: Warehouse Management Safety