In this ongoing series, we’ll address some of the many issues related to keeping your warehouse employees safe, and your supply chain running smoothly.
The following checklists may help you take steps to avoid hazards that cause injuries, illnesses and fatalities. As always, be cautious and seek help if you are concerned about a potential hazard.
- Floors and aisles are clear of clutter, electrical cords, hoses, spills and other hazards that could cause employees to slip, trip or fall.
- Proper work practices are factored into determining the time requirements for an employee to perform a task.
- Newly-hired employees receive general ergonomics training and task-specific training.
About 100 employees are killed and 95,000 injured every year while operating forklifts in all industries. Forklift turnovers account for a significant percentage of these fatalities.
- Train, evaluate and certify all operators to ensure that they can operate forklifts safely;
- Do not allow anyone under 18 years old to operate a forklift;
- Properly maintain haulage equipment, including tires;
- Before using a forklift, examine it for hazardous conditions which would make it unsafe to operate;
- Remove unsafe or defective trucks from service until the defect is properly repaired;
- Follow safe procedures for picking up, putting down and stacking loads;
- Drive safely, never exceed 5 mph and slow down in congested areas or those with slippery surfaces;
- Ensure that the operator wears a seatbelt installed by the manufacturer;
- Never drive up to a person standing in front of a fixed object such as a wall or stacked materials;
- Prohibit stunt driving and horseplay;
- Do not handle loads that are heavier than the weight capacity of the forklift;
- Maintain sufficiently safe clearances for aisles and at loading docks or passages where forklifts are used;
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, have put together a great pocket guide for easy reference where you can find more on this information.
As we know, injuries and accidents are not only dangerous to workers, they’re also terrible for employers. Injuries slow the workflow, cost time for re-training, and can result in fines. Even simple changes such as limiting walking distances, and mobilizing your team with workstations can make a big difference. Think Safe, think efficient and everyone benefits.
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