Warehouse Safety 101
Working in a warehouse environment, it can feel like hazards are lurking around every corner and on every shelf. These hazards are addressed in OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910. Proper safety precautions and awareness go a long way to prevent workplace incidents and accidents. Let's go through some warehouse safety topics.
Warehouse Safety Syllabus
Consider this blog your high-level safety course for keeping workers safe in warehouse workspaces. From ergonomics to machine safety to disaster preparedness, there are a lot of precautions to take.
Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) can be caused by repetitive motion, lack of ergonomic conditions, improper movements and positions, and heavy materials, among other things. Preventing MSDs with safety equipment and ergonomic equipment can increase productivity, reduce injury rates, and decrease workers' comp claims. Learn more about ergonomic risk factors and MSDs from our blog: 3 Steps to Addressing Ergonomic Risk Factors.
Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts)
Proper forklift training is critical to warehouse safety. From mounting to operation to driving safety, there's a lot to know. OSHA outlines key topics for ensuring safe operation. Learn more from Driving Safety for Powered Industrial Trucks, where we address each issue to help you improve forklift safety.
Materials Handling & Hazardous Chemicals
According to OSHA, a hazardous material is any item or agent (biological, chemical, radiological, and/or physical) that has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment either by itself or through interaction with other factors. Employers are required to adhere to regulations around proper handling, labeling, record keeping, training, and storage of hazardous materials. You can learn more about these regulations from our blog, 4 Steps for Working with Hazardous Materials.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Simply walking through a warehouse may be the most dangerous part of your day. In moments like these, when we're on autopilot, we can slip, trip, and fall, making fall prevention critical to warehouse safety. That's why it's important to eliminate hazards, maintain clear walkways, and meet safety standards to prevent serious and even fatal accidents. Check out 5 Fall Prevention Guidelines to learn more about prevention.
Emergencies and disasters can happen even in the safest work environments—so you must be prepared for them. Proper planning can be the difference between life and death when the unimaginable happens. Employers should have an emergency plan for their warehouses, including expectations, procedures, and equipment guidance. Learn more about emergency planning from our blog, Implementing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP).
There are many types of electrical equipment and systems, so electric safety is an essential element of warehouse safety. Whether it's dealing with cords or avoiding arc flash, employees should have the proper training, procedures, and PPE to prevent shocks. Check out Electrical Safety: Don't Get Shocked and download our infographic.
In its most recent listing of the top ten most frequently cited standards, Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout) ranked number six. To prevent injury and death, OSHA requires employers to implement programs consisting of energy control procedures, employee training, and periodic inspections. For lockout/tagout compliance guidance, read out blogs, 7 Keys To Lockout/Tagout Compliance and Six Steps to a Lockout/Tagout Program.
Don't forget about temperatures when designing your warehouse safety plan. Heat stress can happen indoors when high temperatures, humidity, and still air are present. Knowing the risks, preparing for the effects, and managing the systems can prevent heatstroke. Learn more from our blog, Preventing Heat Stress.
Automation and Robotics
From working with and around machinery to the potential for struck by and caught between accidents, automation and robotics can create workplace hazards. Understanding machine components and their motions and actions will inform your machine safety plans. Gain insight into these concepts and get to know safeguarding requirements with our blog, Machine Guarding Saves Life and Limb.
Just as heat illnesses can occur indoors, cold stress can strike in refrigerated environments, making some elements of winter safety relevant to warehouse safety. Workers can avoid hypothermia and frost-bite emergencies with cold-weather PPE and time limits on time spent in the cold. Read Preventing Cold Stress to learn more.
Stress and Fatigue
Even with a perfect safety plan, employee stress and fatigue can cause workplace accidents. According to OSHA, they can increase injury rates and negatively affect health. Companies should consider developing programs and implementing training to help workers manage stress and avoid fatigue.
We Can Help with Warehouse Safety
We can help you with any of the safety topics covered in this blog. Whether you need a comprehensive warehouse safety plan or are looking to improve safety in a particular area, you can count on our team of Safety Specialists, Qualified Safety Sales Professionals (QSSP), and OSHA-Certified Trainers to provide guidance and advice. Contact us today!