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Warehouse Safety

Warehouse Safety

Tuesday 21st September 2021
Direct Training (GB) Ltd.

Warehouses are one of the most common workplace environments. They are also some of the most dangerous.

When identifying the risks which are associated with the key operations of the warehouse you should identify all of the hazards which impede upon the safe working of employees. You should also understand what risk control measures are currently in place and through doing this you will be able to identify any gaps in your current risk control measures with regards to respecting both national and/or international standards.

There are seven common hazards in a warehouse and they are:

1. Falling objects - In a warehouse there is a very high likelihood that items will be stacked high. These items have the potential to slip off and cause injuries.

2. Slips, trips and falls - This is one of the most common causes of accidents in any workplace. However, in a workplace, slips, trips and falls can be caused by things such as poorly lit areas, slippery flooring, hidden steps and ridges, litter on the floor and items such as boxes on the floor.

3. Moving machinery - If not used properly, warehouse machinery has the potential to be extremely dangerous. Especially if workers are using it incorrectly.

4. Physical strain - in a warehouse, workers often have to handle items which are heavy and/or bulky. Repeatedly doing this over time can lead to varying levels of physical strain. However, the difficulty is that physical strain can be hard to identify. This is because every worker's body is different so therefore it is hard to predict how long a person will be able to withstand a prolonged exposure to physical labour.

5. A lack of safety training and knowledge in workers - By having a warehouse team which are properly trained in the appropriate safety measures, you can make a huge difference to reducing the risk of hazards in the workplace. This is because insufficient training in itself is a big safety hazard. When your team isn't working in a safe manner they are increasing the likelihood of other hazards causing an accident.

6. Exposure to harmful substances - Toxic substances are one of the most serious workplace hazards. Toxic substances can be things that you may not even realise such as cleaning products. Some substances can be extremely hazardous and require your team to be wearing the proper gear as well as handling the substance correctly.

7. Loading and unloading - One of the most common tasks undertaken in a warehouse is loading and unloading items. This is also a potentially hazardous task as it can lead to injuries such as the following:
- Being pinned between forklifts.
- Being pinned between the loading dock and the truck, van or trailer.
- Being pinned between vehicles
- Being hit by a truck or trailer
- Being hit by falling items which are unsecured
- Being hit by a falling dock plate.