Safety is vital in any setting, but especially in a warehouse. Depending on what you use your warehouse for (production, distribution, etc), there may be safety hazards that you haven’t given a whole lot of thought to. Unfortunately, accidents happen- and people usually don’t realize a safety hazard is actually a problem until an accident does happen. Don’t wait until somebody gets hurt to make sure that your warehouse is as safe as it can be! Here are a few safety issues that you may not have thought about before- but should work to correct as soon as possible!
Watch Your Aisles
Aisles might not seem like something you need to put a lot of thought into- they’re just spaces for people to walk, right? There are actually quite a few safety issues that can arise in aisles. For example, you need to be careful to leave wires and other trip hazards out of aisles. If a wire or power cord does need to stretch across an aisle, be sure to tape it down so that it doesn’t become a trip hazard. You should also make sure that your aisles are wide enough for people to pass each other without running into each other. That can be really dangerous, especially if they’re pushing hand trucks or hauling other large items through the aisles. Keeping debris out of the aisle is also important. If something is dropped or spilled, it’s vital to make sure that it’s cleaned up immediately, or someone could get hurt.
Keeping your employees safe from toxic substances is usually pretty simple. Proper labeling of cleaning products and other chemicals is very important, as is having eyewash stations and knowing the number of the poison control company just in case. However, you should also check frequently for substances such as mold or asbestos. They can hide in warehouses and make your employees sick, even if you can’t see them. Be sure to have your warehouse inspected by a professional at least once a year and make sure you don’t have anything toxic hiding away.
When you think of risks in a warehouse, fires are likely not the first thing that pop into your mind, but they are a very real risk. You’ll want to make sure that you have the proper building permits and obey all fire codes. Provide training to your employees on what to do in case of a fire, and ensure that you have fire extinguishers throughout your warehouse. Exercise caution with flammable chemicals as well, and make sure that wires and cords are not getting too frayed. Keep several rolls of electrical tape around for a temporary fix, but don’t rely too heavily on it. Be sure to replace frayed wires as quickly as you can.
Train Employees on Proper Lifting Techniques
Unfortunately, sometimes employees can pose risks to themselves if they don’t practice proper lifting techniques. There are all sorts of strains and sprains that can happen if someone lifts items improperly. We all know the old adage of “lift with your legs, not with your back,” but it’s important to teach people lifting techniques for all sorts of loads in order to avoid injuries. Computer training can come in handy for this- there are lots of programs that demonstrate proper lifting techniques.
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