When working in an environment with large machinery, pallets and racking, warehouse safety should be considered a priority. According to a HSE survey, the estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions is £14.3 billion.
With this in mind, we have put together 5 tips to help you achieve optimum warehouse safety. You certainly don’t want to end up like this:
- Manual material handling
Inevitably working in a warehouse carrying heavy loads is going to be a strain on your workers’ bodies, especially their shoulders and backs.
Ensure that your warehouse is designed to minimise the amount of times your staff have to bend, reach and twist to prevent the risk of an injury. Having an effective warehouse management system can also make life easier for your warehouse operatives.
- Forklifts can be dangerous
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 100 warehouse employees are killed and 95,000 are injured every year while operating forklifts.
This makes it essential that aisles and loading docks are kept clear so forklifts can safely manoeuvre around your warehouse and that employees drive carefully especially when in congested areas.
- Slips, trips and falls
According to a HSE guide to warehousing storage and safety, around a quarter of major injuries in the warehousing industry are caused by workers slipping or tripping. This can be avoided by eliminating the following factors from your warehouse:
- Loose materials
- Unnecessary steps or ridges
- Obstructions such as boxes on the floor
Asking your employees to report these issues as soon as possible should also be encouraged so the issue can be resolved as quickly as possible.
- Write a health and safety policy for your business
Having a policy in place lets your staff know that you’re committed to providing a safe working environment for them. It should clearly state the procedure for when an emergency situation occurs in your warehouse.
To get you started on writing your own plan, the HSE provides an example health and safety policy template which you can customise to match your own business’ processes. If you have fewer than 5 employees you don’t have to write down a policy.
- Offer training to your staff
Your staff should all have basic training in health and safety that is relevant to their role and within the warehouse, (this could include the use of equipment for example.)
It is also essential that you offer regular refresher training so your staff are up to date on how to operate in your warehouse safely.
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