If you work in a warehouse or occasionally fill orders or move equipment in your company’s warehouse, you should be aware of some of the safety risks. Most warehouses have heavy packages and even heavier machinery to move pallets and other supplies, all of which can lead to injuries if you’re not careful. Below, we share seven tips to ensure you and your coworkers stay injury free while working in the warehouse.
Every warehouse is different, but odds are some or all of these tips will apply to your situation:
1. Machine Certification – Make sure that only licensed and certified machine operators use the heavy equipment. Whether it’s the forklift or compactor, ensure that all safety protocols are followed and that only experienced individuals operate these pieces of equipment.
2. Height Safety – If you are going into a cherry picker to remove items from a high shelf, be sure to use the safety harnesses or straps. If the picker shifts while you’re reaching for product, you can easily lose your balance. If you’re on a ladder, make sure the ladder is on a flat surface, and it doesn’t hurt to have a co-worker hold the ladder to help keep it secure.
3. Safe Lifting – Thousands of workers injure themselves while attempting to lift and move boxes each year. Bend at the knees, not with your back, and if an item is too heavy, grab a co-worker to help move it. If you see someone struggling to move a large or heavy object, go help them with a tandem lift.
4. Safety Gear – Some warehouses require that you wear safety glasses, a hard hat or a high-visibility top when you’re working. If you forgot an item at home or have misplaced something, don’t just assume you’ll be safe without it. Track down a manager to see if there are extra safety supplies or keep extra equipment in your locker.
5. Spills and Liquid – Warehouse floors can get very slippery if machine oil or other fluids make their way onto the ground. Since most warehouses have hard floors, those wet spots can linger for quite some time. If you notice a spill, clean it up. If you don’t have time to clean it up right away, put out signs or cones to help draw attention to the potential danger.
6. Treat The Warehouse Like A Street – Another good rule of thumb is to treat warehouse aisles like a street. Always look both ways before crossing aisles or entering other paths, because you never know who might be coming from another direction. If you are driving a forklift or other machinery, be on the lookout for others at all times, and don’t assume that they are going to always make their presence known.
7. Container Safety – Finally, be smart around containers, pallets and boxes. Don’t sit on or lean against heavy boxes, even if they seem sturdy, and don’t stack containers overly high. Countless workers are injured by falling containers every year, so don’t become a statistic.
In the event that you are injured in the warehouse, report the injury to your supervisor and seek medical attention. Afterwards, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries, and a lawyer can help to maximize your claim. For more information on how we’ll achieve this, reach out to Dean Margolis and his team today.
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