With lots of heavy machinery, high shelves, slippery floors, and heavy cargo, it’s no wonder warehouses have more injury hazards than any other industry workplace.
People who work in a warehouse are exposed to many work-related hazards that can lead to slips, falls, strained muscles, and back injuries, to name a few. If warehouse owners and managers don’t find ways to mitigate these risks, accidents can cause multiple missed workdays and workers’ compensation claims.
To help reduce the risk of workplace injuries, workers and managers must recognize the most common warehouse accidents and find ways to prevent them.
1. Falling objects
There is a risk of workers getting struck by falling objects if items are not stored securely on shelves or if the shelves themselves are not secured properly. If the object falls directly on a worker’s head, this can cause traumatic brain injury or even instant death, which is why workers should always wear headgear from a reputable logistics workwear supplier.
Aside from wearing the correct gear to protect the head from falling objects, workers should be well-trained on how to stack objects properly, especially oddly-shaped ones. Improperly stacked or stored items on high shelves can easily roll off and fall to the ground–or on a worker.
2. Slip and fall
Slip and fall accidents cause the most workplace injuries in Australia, which can lead to injuries such as broken bones, slipped discs, strained muscles, broken spines, and other serious injuries. This type of accident can be prevented by keeping the work area clean and dry, placing adequate warning signs, clearing clutter and other non-essential items, using anti-slip tape, providing enough light in the warehouse, and maintaining organization in aisles, among many other safety measures.
3. Forklift accidents
Forklifts are commonly used in warehouses because they allow easy transport of many loads at a time. However, when used incorrectly, these heavy machines can prove dangerous–and even fatal.
Prevent forklift accidents by only allowing qualified and experienced drivers to use them. At the same time, implement safety measures that will help reduce accidents, such as keeping the machine turned off when not in use and maintaining the machine frequently.
4. Rack collapses
A collapsing rack can crush a worker and cause traumatic head injury, muscle and nerve damage, and even instantaneous death. However, this type of injury is highly avoidable by storing heavier items on lower shelves, inspecting and maintaining racks regularly, avoiding overstacking, and leaving lots of space in between racks for forklift access.
Likewise, all warehouse workers should be taught how to stack items properly on the racks, as well as to avoid running into racks while using heavy machinery.
5. Strain and sprain
Just like in many other industries, strains and sprains are common injuries among workers. In warehouses, workers often strain or sprain themselves while lifting items to and fro.
To avoid strains and sprains, workers should be properly trained on how to lift and how to set down items correctly. At the same time, they should be given adequate PPE and advised not to overexert themselves to the point of injury.
A lot of workplace accidents are avoidable, including those that are common in warehouses. To protect your workers against these hazards, proper planning and imposing safety practices or protocols are important.