Warehouses are among the top hazardous workplaces. Employers are in part responsible for creating a safe work environment for their workers, but as an employee, it’s best to know the potential risks of your workplace and how to keep yourself safe.
- Large machinery – One of the most obvious dangers in a warehouse is the large machinery used. Typical machinery used in a warehouse are trucks, forklifts, pallet jacks and conveyor belts. Often, caused by lack of care, attention and training, these accidents can be serious and even fatal.
- Physical injury – Working in a warehouse is an incredibly physical profession. Long periods of physical labor can result in strain and injury.
- Loading – The process of loading and unloading items in a warehouse can put employees in dangerous situations involving trucks, trainers, unsecured items, loading docks and forklifts.
- Falling objects – When items are not properly secured, they can quickly become at risk for falling and injuring workers.
- Toxic exposure – Cleaning products, building materials, and substances handled in a warehouse can put workers at risk for exposure to toxic substances, leading to health issues.
- Insufficient training – One of the most common ways for warehouses to become more dangerous is through a lack of training. When employees don’t understand proper safety measures, everyone in the warehouse is at risk.
- Slips and falls – One of the top accidents in any workplace is slips, trips and falls. In a warehouse, these can be caused by wet floors, hidden steps, poor lighting and materials left in walkways.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk of injury at work. The best way is to always be properly trained in safety procedures and follow them carefully. Be alert when driving a forklift, secure boxes when you stack them, be aware of your surroundings and practice proper posture when performing physical activities. If you’re not sure about how to execute a task safely, ask your manager or supervisor before continuing. It’s always best to ask instead of putting yourself and others at risk.