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In a warehouse, hazards can be present all around you. Disregarding potential hazards can be detrimental to both your own safety, and the safety of others within the warehouse. The first step to preventing accidents is being aware of the hazards around you. Below are some common warehouse hazards and tips on how to avoid them.
Slip and Trip Hazards
Slipping and tripping accidents are very common in a warehouse.  However, they are also very easy to avoid. The following factors are most popular for causing slips and trips and should be eliminated:
  • Spilled liquids
  • Boxes on the floor
  • Loose materials from operations, such as sawdust
  • Dark areas
  • Poorly placed steps or ridges
Additionally, it may be beneficial to install anti-slip floor tape to minimize slip accidents.
Fires can be detrimental to both workers and the building itself, however are highly avoidable. It is important to have proper building permits, exit strategies, clear exits, and fire extinguishers all around the warehouse. To prevent fire risks, look out for these things:
  • Flammable liquids and gases that are leaking
  • Electrical cords that run under carpet
  • Worn out and exposed wires and cords
Heavy Equipment Accidents
For employees that operate heavy equipment daily, such as forklifts, getting too comfortable with machinery is a potential hazard. This is the case particularly if the employee begins to underestimate how dangerous the machine actually is. To prevent these hazards, make sure employees receive on-going training for machinery to ensure they understand the dangers of the equipment they are handling and are consistently following the correct instructions for operating the machine.
Harmful Substances
Many warehouses contain toxic chemicals that can have adverse affects on employees. For chemical substances, make sure they are correctly sealed according to code and stored in an area that will protect them and prevent them from spilling. It is also important to note any toxic chemicals that are present in the actual warehouse infrastructure. For example, asbestos may be present in some warehouses and may be grounds for fines during warehouse inspections if it is affecting employee health.
Falling Objects & Moving Parts
For any moving machine in a warehouse, always take note of the warning labels that will inform you of the correct way to use the machine and how it moves and works. In terms of stacking items, make sure everything in your warehouse is stacked neatly and according to product type to avoid any falling objects. For example, correctly secure cylindrical items, such as drums, to prevent them from rolling off shelves.
Lack of Safety Training
The best way to avoid accidents is to increase awareness. To do this, proper training is essential. Each employee should receive training at the beginning of their time with the company, as well as throughout their time as an employee. The only way to have high safety standards is to review training and safety programs well and often. Proper training also improves warehouse efficiency, so start working towards a safer environment! _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ REFERENCES “10 Warehouse Safety Hazards And How To Avoid Them.” | Premier | Phsinverter.com. N. p., 2017. Web. 8 Aug. 2017.