2 of the Greatest Warehouse Safety Risks (And What to Do About Them): Part 1

145,000 people work in more than 7,000 warehouses, and the fatal injury rate is much higher than average in the industry (according to OSHA).

What are some of the most common problems OSHA finds? And what can you do about them so your workers stay safe and productive?

We have both covered for you. Learn more below:

1. Forklifts

100 employees die and another 95,000 are injured each year by forklifts. Can you believe that?

95,000 of the 145,000 warehouse workers in the United States are injured, which comes to 65.5%!

So here’s a great place to start.

Even though forklifts are responsible for an outrageous number of injuries, it’s not that hard to prevent the ones they cause.

Proper training of forklift drivers, along with certification, is the place to start. Maintain your forklift properly. Make sure your driver understands how to inspect the forklift for safety prior to driving.

Drivers should keep the speed under 5 mph in congested areas or places with slippery conditions.

Only handle loads within the forklift’s weight capacity. Never let a forklift driver approach a person standing in front of a wall or pile of materials.

If there’s one place you spend time on safety, make sure it’s with your forklifts!

2. Hazard Communication

This item came in second place on OSHA’s list of the most common reasons companies are fined.

Chemical burns can happen if hazardous materials are not properly handled.

These don’t happen nearly as frequently as forklift accidents. But obviously, the damage is serious when trouble occurs.

All workers should be familiar with a currently-updated MSDS for each chemical your facility handles. They should have intimate knowledge of the MSDS and be observed for how well they follow its procedures.

Spill cleanup kits should be readily available wherever you store chemicals. You should have a written spill control plan employees review regularly so they’re ready for an accident if it happens.

You also must provide personal protective equipment and train employees on how to use it correctly.

Finally, all chemicals should be stored safely and away from forklift traffic areas.

Those are just a couple of the leading causes of warehouse injuries. Stay tuned for additional parts, learn other common safety risks, and what you can do about them.