Many warehouse accidents happen either because workers are careless or because necessary maintenance around the facility has been neglected. While accidents happen in even the safest workplaces, there are actions you can take to prevent most issues. Here are four common warehouse accident types along with information on what you can do to prevent them.
When stacks or racks collapse, the risk of injury is high. Most pallet rack collapses can be prevented with proper stowing and stacking. The best practice is to stack big, heavy items on the bottom and lighter ones on top, then wrap each pallet with a sturdy product designed for the purpose. Just as importantly, leaving space between pallets can help prevent collapses caused by stacks being knocked over as others are being moved. Regular inspection of pallet racks by a safety officer is essential too.
Warehouse floor repairs and maintenance can help prevent injuries from slipping, tripping or falling. While employees can be injured by items left in their path or from falls because of inadequate guardrails, many injuries happen because the floor surface is damaged. Warehouse floor repairs and maintenance can involve concrete edge or mastic replacement, crack repair, slab stabilization, or full section replacement. It’s also important that spills are cleaned up quickly and that hallways and stairs are well-lit.
When dangerous materials are stored in your facility, the chance of workplace injuries increases dramatically. Most workers know the procedures for large spills, but your employees may not realize that small spills of slippery, corrosive, or volatile chemicals may require hazmat cleanup as well. Reduce incidents by providing proper personal protective equipment, complete training in response procedures, and readily accessible safety data sheets.
Inexperienced workers, wrong turns, and partially obstructed pathways are the most common causes of forklift crashes and rollovers. Additionally, some forklifts are less stable than others and more prone to accidents. Your company should choose your warehouse machines carefully, train operators thoroughly, and make sure they know which areas of your warehouse contain the most fragile, volatile, and hazardous items. Proper forklift maintenance is also crucial to safe operation.
You can’t avoid every accident, but you can take steps to prevent many of them. These steps include maintenance, repair, training, cleaning, and attention to detail, among other things. Limiting accidents reduces workplace injuries, time off, and compensation claims while saving you money. No one loses when you maintain a safe warehouse.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing.