One in 20 Warehouse Workers Suffers Injury Each Year
Protecting company employees and assets should be proactively sought after by any business owner. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in 20 warehouse workers will suffer injuries in a given year. Creating a safe work environment and culture of safety brings benefits to both workers and management. Having a set of safety measures specifically designed for your work environment and regular health and safety meetings will minimize the risk of injury, causing fewer workplace disruptions and absenteeism due to injury. Below are five warehouse safety tips for maintaining a productive, accident-free warehouse.
Oversee Garbage Disposal
To begin with, make sure your warehouse has an adequate amount of garbage containers. Have employees check and empty out these containers whenever they are full. Never allow your garbage containers to overflow as this can be a safety hazard, causing slips and falls or workplace fires. Recycling and trash containers should be placed away from the warehouse and not directly accessible from the inside, as this may also cause property damage. As a general rule of thumb, have at least two people man the station when trash is being collected.
Address Slips and Trips
Slips and trips are one of the most common causes of injury in any workplace setting. Those working in a warehouse setting, however, are at a higher risk due to the environmental characteristics that exist within these facilities. In fact, slips and trips send more than eight million people per year to the emergency room. Not only is the aftermath physically painful for your employee, but it can also hurt your company's productivity and growth rate. Eliminate the factors that could potentially result in a fall, such as loose materials, liquids, and poorly lit areas.
Submit Workforce to Training
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) holds employers accountable for the safety of their workers through provision of a safe workplace. A workplace safety training course is a worthwhile investment and a legal requirement for all employers, regardless of business size and industry. Employers must provide the training in a format that their employees can understand. Your employees should know how to use a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and other equipment, such as forklifts, in a safe manner. Other topics your training course should encompass include drugs and alcohol, proper handling of materials, and personal protective equipment.
More warehouse safety rules are outlined by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration.
Observe Proper Management of Chemicals
Asbestos and other harmful chemicals should be minimized and stored properly at all times. Prolonged or even short periods of exposure to these chemicals can cause irreparable damage to your employees’ health. Work towards establishing a well-defined storage system that everyone in the workforce will adhere to. Some of the areas you should avoid storing chemicals include regular route of forklifts within the facility and emergency exits on either side of the building.
Don't Overwork Your Employees
It comes down to sound management and your ability to allocate available manpower to achieve the required output. Requesting your employees to work overtime frequently can lead to buildup of stress. Physical and mental exhaustion will cause them to make poor choices while at work, which ultimately increases the likelihood of getting into an accident. Instead, spread the workload and schedule properly so that the spacing between work hours allows your employees to recover both in mind and body. In the end, you get higher quality output and low reports of workplace-related injury.
The safety of your workforce should take precedence over any other aspect of the business. Your warehouse plays a key role in daily operations of your business, so any delays or mishaps experienced by this part of the business can drastically affect other intersecting parts. Maintaining a culture of safety will minimize cases of personal injury as well as property damage, both of which add up to liabilities and expenses for the company. With the five warehouse safety tips above you'll be able to minimize the occurrence of these unfortunate events.
Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in keeping things organized and in order. She currently writes for FlexCon, a leading vendor of corrugated plastic bins and boxes.