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Common safety issues in Australian warehouses

Supplier: Storage Ideas By: Storage Ideas
10 November, 2017

For an employer, the safety and security of their workers is a top priority. In a warehouse environment, careful planning and a dedication to safety are the keys to keeping workers injury-free.

While it may be tempting to occasionally disregard safety procedures to save time or resources, this practice is never worth the risk in the long term. Creating and maintaining a safe working environment improves productivity and employee satisfaction. Follow our guidelines on the biggest risk factors in warehouses and how to avoid accidents.

Handling Materials

Handling items is one of the main activities for any warehouse worker and as such, it is a frequent source of issues. Boxes, pallets or cartons being dropped, mishandled or incorrectly stored can cause injuries as well as damaging equipment. The safe movement of products around your facility should be one of your main considerations when designing or redesigning the area. The best way to minimise the potential risk involved in these movements is to automate them using a conveyor system. The more transporting that can be done via a conveyor rather than a person, the safer everyday activities become.

Lifting and Straining

Workers in your warehouse are likely to spend a lot of time reaching, pulling and pushing items around or into place. When dealing with a heavy product the risks are clear, but even with materials that aren’t weighty or bulky, the repeated action of lifting or carrying can cause repetitive strain injuries. To keep everyone safe, staff must be well trained in manual handling and made aware of the risks of repetitive actions. This way, minor injuries aren’t allowed to develop into a permanent problem.

Damaged or Inferior Storage

Your racking, shelving and equipment are the backbones of your warehouse so it's vital that they are kept in good shape. Never buy inferior products and always obey guidelines as to what type and weight of items can be stored where. In order to avoid injuries related to damaged racking, use Colby Protect-a-Rack, which uses a patented design to reinforce and defend your racking from forklift accidents and other heavy impacts.

Slips, Trips and Falls

It may seem that slips and falls are just a part of working life but the frequency of this kind of accident can be greatly reduced simply by using proper signage and keeping all areas of your warehouse tidy at all times. Make sure workers wear appropriate safety equipment for the area they are working in, so a small trip doesn’t cause a serious injury.

Forklift Accidents

Unfortunately, forklift accidents can be serious. It is essential that anyone operating a lifting vehicle is properly trained and that this training is ongoing with regular refresher courses. This ensures that best practices are kept up to date and correct procedure isn’t forgotten or neglected over time.

A great way to minimise the risk of forklift accidents is to keep vehicles separate from pedestrians as much as possible. Using a live racking storage system, you can have aisles that are exclusively for the use of one group of workers, with a physical barrier between forklifts and pickers.

 

For more information on the safety products that we offer, please contact Storage Ideas.