How Safe is Your Warehouse?
If you own or work in a warehouse, no matter your job position, you deserve to feel secure in the fact that your place of employment is safe. There are certain health and safety precautions, as outlined by the Health and Safety Executive, that you and your employer must follow. First Personal Injury are here to highlight some of the ways that you can keep your workplace space safe based upon which types of accidents happen most frequently:
How To Avoid Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents
This is the most common type of accident and it can occur anywhere. This type of accident usually occurs either due to a spillage on the floor or due to tripping over an uneven surface. When a floor is cleaned a sign should be placed near the area to indicate that the floor is still wet, furthermore when something is spilled in the warehouse it should be cleaned up immediately to ensure that no one falls. Generally, warehouse floors have a good grip and if you wear work boots this also provides additional grip. The floor plan should have been designed to make walkways as unobstructed as possible, as well as ensuring that all surfaces are even and areas like steps going down or drops in height are clearly signed and highlighted.
Items should also not be placed in an area where they could obstruct someone’s ability to walk, making it possible for them to trip over an item. Routine checks should be done on the building to ensure that no surface areas have worn away to become uneven and to ensure that no holes have developed outside or inside the building.
Working at Height-Safely
When working at a height, the area should be properly assessed, and the job should be supervised as well as carried out safely to ensure that the likelihood of a potential fall or injury is lowered. Working from a height should be avoided where possible but if it is completely necessary to work at height then any potential risks should be minimised as much as possible. For example, when using a ladder or a stepladder the employees should show that it is not possible, or it is impractical to use another piece of equipment or to complete the task in a different way. All staff members should have detailed training about how to safely work at height, such as how to properly use ladders, as well as how to check that ladders have been checked to ensure they are safe for use – as well as knowing how to use and check other tools associated with working at height.
Preventing Falling Items
Items must be stored carefully, as well as taken from areas carefully to ensure that they do not fall upon anyone. If there is a certain area of the warehouse where there is a higher risk of items falling, such as an area where there is a higher concentration of items, then only authorised personnel should be allowed in these areas.
Manual Handling Techniques
It is important that you follow manual handling procedures at all times, to lower the risk of developing back or neck injuries which are fairly common amongst warehouse and storage workers. If a lifting task involves risk then this task should be avoided if possible. If this isn’t possible, then tools or machinery can be utilised – such as a forklift truck or a trolley – to handle the item. If the item must be lifted by a person, then they should follow manual handling techniques such as lifting with their legs bent, back straight and pushing up with their body strength. More information about exactly how to correctly handle and lift items can be seen on the Health and Safety Executive website.
When encountering an item that needs to be lifted, all workers should assess the situation through these points:
• What exactly is the task? How far do I have to carry the item?
• How heavy is the item?
• Is the working environment completely safe for me to lift and carry this item wherever it needs to go?
• Am I strong enough to do this task or should I ask someone else or get someone to help me?
• Are there any other factors that I should note?
Warehouses are potentially hazardous working environments. Ensuring that safety comes first in a warehouse is the best step to take to avoid accidents. If you work in a warehouse and any of the points above are of concern you should raise them with your workplace.
Explore: Accidents At Work