How to Protect your Workers in Industrial Warehouses

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By Joanne Kirby, freelance writer.

A warehouse can be a dangerous place for workers – especially if the appropriate health and safety measures haven’t been taken. You’re expected to safely lift, carry and store items – some of which can be extremely heavy. In many cases, you’re expected to do so with the aid of machinery which might be dangerous if misused.

If you’re operating a warehouse, then you have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect your workers. So, what form might that protection take?

Signs and Labels

The most important piece of safety equipment in any work environment is the human brain. If workers are constantly vigilant, then they might be able to easily protect themselves against mishap. It’s during lapses in concentration that mishaps can occur.

You can provide workers with regular reminders of their responsibilities through the right signage. Make sure that you place signs in the right areas, too. If there’s a particular kind of hazard located in a particular part of the warehouse, then warning everyone about it via signage can be highly effective.

Equipment checks

Malfunctioning equipment can cause serious injury. This applies especially to power tools. For this reason, procedures should be put in place to ensure that the tools are regularly inspected and that the results of the inspection are recorded. For example, you might log the tyre pressure of a forklift.

Protective Gear and Safety Equipment

All workers should be provided with the appropriate safety equipment and instructed about how to use it. In a warehouse setting, the most important pieces of personal protective equipment will cover the head, and guard against falling objects. There’s also hand and eye protection to worry about – which is where gloves and goggles come in. Choosing high-quality PPE suppliers could make a real difference to safety in your place of work.

Plastic Pallets

Traditional wooden pallets are more prone to breaking and splintering than modern plastic ones. They’re also heavier, too. Making the switch will therefore save you money and reduce instances of workplace accidents.

Ergonomic Layout

In many cases, injuries in warehouses don’t occur just because of a single moment of stress, but because of the cumulative effect of hundreds of them, stretched out over several years. By educating workers on how they should really be lifting, stretching, and carrying, you’ll empower them to look after their own well-being.

Risk assessments are a great way to spot potential sources of injury and intervene to prevent them. Make sure that your assessments are scheduled regularly and that their findings are actually implemented.

Fitness

Preventative physical training can help to ensure that injuries are stopped from happening in the first place, as well as provide more general health benefits. Yoga, weightlifting, and other pursuits can all be beneficial.

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