The Three Stooges caused an unbelievable amount of pain and chaos to one another. Fortunately it was all in the name of entertainment.
…But does your warehouse sometimes remind you of one of their comedy shorts?
Hopefully it doesn’t.
And here’s what you can do to prevent the most common types of warehouse accidents from happening:
1. Forklift Accidents
Forklifts cause 2-3 dozen deaths each year. And a quarter of those deaths happen while the forklift is in reverse.
Drivers should never exceed more than 5 mph. When drivers have to reverse, make sure they have someone helping who can spot them and warn others to stay out of the way.
Give your drivers pop quizzes on your forklift safety driving standards.
Make sure your driver has a list of safety checks to make daily. And come down hard on them if they engage in negligent driving behavior (racing, showboating).
2. Slips, Trips, and Falls
These are the most common types of warehouse accident. Your staff should always clean up after spills and tuck away loose cables, or otherwise organize whatever the potential hazard could be.
You can also use anti-slip paint on your floors. Anti-slip tape can be used where paint cannot. And encourage your employees to wear anti-slip shoes.
Repair damaged floors which have become uneven. And if you have to run cables over the floor, make sure the cables have heavy-duty covers.
And finally, use warning signs in abundance. Too many is better than too few.
3. Lifting Injuries
Your staff should know how much they can manually handle, which is usually about 50 pounds. You should also train them on proper lifting techniques which minimize strain and the risk of injury.
And equipment should be readily available for helping your employees lift. Your employees should also know the maximum load the equipment can handle so they don’t overload it and risk serious injury.
Chains should be stored properly. And vehicles shouldn’t be allowed to run over them. Improper storage leads to rusting, bending, breaking, and possibly serious injury or death.
4. Fire Safety
Employees can get seriously hurt, and many entire businesses also don’t fully recover from a fire.
You should have an employee solely responsible for fire safety. Make it their job to audit your workplace for fire hazards, create evacuation plans, and be the person in-charge in case of a fire.
Run your own fire drills at least a couple times per year. Employees should know the exits and the final assembly point.
Emergency lighting should be in place so your employees can see fire exit signs and their escape routes with ease.
Fire alarms should be tested weekly. And if your warehouse stores chemicals, make sure you’re in compliance with OSHA standards.
Obviously, there’s still much more to warehouse safety. But this review of common safety risks makes for a solid starting point.
So check them all out. See how your company stacks up, and finish out your safety audit so your employees stay safe and motivated!