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How to Protect Warehouse Workers

Worker safety has become a hot topic in the past year or so. The events of the pandemic have put extreme pressure on healthcare workers while exposing those in construction, retail and many other industries to increased levels of risk also. Countless businesses have been forced to adapt working practices to keep their staff as safe as possible.

Warehouse environments have also come under increased scrutiny. Below are some of the key ways manufacturing and storage businesses can keep workers fit and healthy in normal times.

Warehouse Workers Safety

Provide the correct personal protective equipment (PPE)

Providing PPE is not only advised, it’s a legal requirement. Businesses should provide appropriate PPE for their environment and train staff on how to use it correctly.

Ear defenders are required if workers will be exposed to noise pollution for example, while high-visibility clothing is essential in any space with moving vehicles and machinery. Hard hats and heavy-duty shoes should also be worn to reduce the risk of severe injury caused by falling objects.

Ensure safe use of vehicles

Forklifts cause thousands of worker injuries in warehouses every year, so only people with a training certification should be allowed behind the wheel at any time.

Your work environment should also be designed in a way that factors in vehicle safety, with clearly visible speed limit signs and one-way systems to avoid the need for reversing, for example.

Avoid manual handling where possible

Warehouse workers suffer musculoskeletal injuries and disorders at a higher-than-average rate due to lifting and carrying tasks.

The best way to prevent accidents is to minimise or even eliminate manual handling requirements altogether by using equipment such as lift trucks and trolleys. Teaching proper handling techniques such as bending knees and knowing weight limits is also advisable.

Keep floors clear and clean

Slips, trips and falls are also major causes of warehouse workplace injuries. Make it company policy to deal with loose materials and liquids as soon as they become apparent and always keep walkways free from unnecessary steps and obstructions.

Warehouse Workers Safety

Marking floors with tape to create pathways can also point workers in the right directions.

Stack items safely

Falling objects are another serial offender in warehouse and storage environments. Make sure workers observe a safe stacking height and weight, with heavier pallets placed at the bottom for stability.

Any racking systems should also be inspected and maintained regularly to prevent any unexpected accidents in the future.

Everybody should feel safe in their place of work. Follow these health and safety tips to keep your warehouse in shape.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 6th June 2021.

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