Due to the strenuous nature of the work and the high-risk activities involved, warehouse employees face safety challenges daily.
Where do most warehouse accidents occur?
- Loading docks
- Materials storage
- Manual lifting and handling
These warehouse locations and activities result in slips, trips, and falls as well as lifting, pushing, pulling, or reaching-related injuries.
OSHA estimates nearly 100,000 forklift-related accidents alone occur per year.
In 2018, 649,900 incidents were reported that led to 608,400 documented injuries.
However, it is entirely possible to defy these statistics and run an efficient, incident-free warehouse. The warehouse can be a safe place when—
- The full spectrum of protective gear is utilized, including hard hats, gloves, vests, masks, belts, eyewear, and proper footwear. Management should enforce a no-exceptions policy. Employees should insist on the availability of appropriate protective equipment for each position.
- All areas of the warehouse are kept clean and free of debris. Establish a policy whereby individual employees are tasked with cleaning up their mess. Place trash receptacles throughout the work area; arrange for them to be emptied often and before they reach capacity. Provide sufficient supplies—brooms, mops, etc.—for maintaining a clean working environment.
- Crossing aisles and rounding a corner receives the same attention one would use in crossing or turning onto a busy street.
- Employees are trained in proper lifting techniques and provided with the equipment and accessories that will lessen wear, tear, and strain on their bodies.
- Adequate training is a mandatory requirement before operating any equipment or machinery.
- The lines of communication remain open throughout the facility, encouraging honest dialogue between employees and management about safety concerns.
- Lighting needs are prioritized by regularly accessing the need to replace or upgrade fixtures to provide a well-lit facility.
- Workers have at their disposal the right, properly working tools and equipment for the job. Routine maintenance and inspection of all equipment must also take place to lessen the chance of injury due to equipment malfunction.
- A focus on safety includes monthly or weekly meetings or daily “safety moments”—whatever schedule best fits your facility. Verst Logistics offers a monthly safety calendar featuring a different focus each month. This valuable resource suggests a specific discussion topic for each day, covering a wide range of safety concerns.
- The company culture embodies safety. The number one strategy to ensure a safe warehouse environment is a culture where safety protocols are consistently an “all day, every day” priority. Where everyone on the roster knows that nothing less than the highest safety standards will be accepted. Where the management team provides a consistent, hard-hitting emphasis on safety. When the entire workforce focuses on safety, the warehouse can be a safe place to work.
At A.R. Mazzotta, we specialize in employment services that offer a personal touch. Whether you’re a company looking to expand your workforce with temporary or direct hire employees, or you’re a job seeker ready to start a new career, we’re here to make your life easier and take you in the right direction.