Despite recent improvements in workplace safety, the material handling industry still remains a dangerous place to work in. According to the Bureau of Labor of Statistics, 2017 saw 5,147 deaths in the workplace, with the warehouse industry experiencing five injuries per 100 employees. Fortunately, almost all of these injuries are easily preventable by implementing a few safety measures that don’t require considerable amounts of investment.
In this blog, we take a look at some common warehouse injuries and how they can be avoided.
Incidents Related to Hazardous Material
Distribution and production centers usually receive shipments containing volatile or hazardous materials that are prone to spill and cause accidents. Because of how deadly these chemicals are to human health, even the smallest of spills can have disastrous consequences for workers tasked with handling such substances.
Employers should implement HAZMAT plans that train workers and equips them with the knowledge required to contain, control, and clean up any potential spills. Such plans also include providing employees with personal protective equipment and updated safety data sheets.
It is also crucial that warehouse employees are familiar with HazCom practices that inform workers of the correct way of handling any spillage and minimizing injuries.
Collapsing Pallet Racks
Pallet rack collapses are inevitable when materials are stored in an improper manner. These incidents are particularly dangerous when something falls from a high level, as even the smallest of items can become a deadly projectile when falling from a certain height. To prevent such incidents from taking place, warehouse and inventory managers must implement a few best practices including:
- Stacking the heaviest materials at the bottom and lighter/smaller ones at the top
- Allowing adequate spacing between materials enabling easy access for lift trucks
- Regular inspection of pallet racks to ensure proper material placement
Slips, Falls, and Trips
According to the National Safety Council, 697 workers died due to falls in 2016, with around 48,000 requiring days off from work to recover from injuries. Such a large number of injuries are unfortunate. considering how fall-related incidents are some of the easiest to prevent with the right safety procedures.
Slips and trips can also have similar consequences. It’s of paramount importance that work-areas are kept neat, tidy, and free from any clutter. Companies should enforce strict laws that keep common pathways clean of any potential hazards that may cause employees to trip. Furthermore, an area that has a spillage should be cordoned off until the proper cleanup process has taken place.
Poor lighting is also a contributing factor to such instances. It has been noted that warehouses with extra lighting record a lower frequency of slips, falls, and trips as the workers have a clearer vision of their surroundings.
Organizations must also purchase equipment and machinery that is in compliance with the highest safety standards. Our pneumatic handling equipment meets all industry standards and grants businesses access to increased productivity and reduced operational costs. Contact us today!