On-the-job safety is critical for avoiding injury and maintaining a healthy work environment. This is particularly true in more labor-intensive industries like warehousing. But through education and preparedness, 99% of workplace injuries are preventable! We want to ensure that our team members remain safe on the job, so in recognition of National Safety Month, we are sharing important information on how to stay alert in the workplace environment, handle possible job site hazards, and avoid injury on assignments.
Know Your Risks
Anything can become a risk for injury if you’re not careful enough. It’s good to know what often causes injuries on your job site in order to be better equipped to deal with common hazards. The top three causes of injury are:
- This includes injuries caused by electricity, radiation, noise, extreme temperatures, harmful substances, and more.
- It’s smart to stay conscious of the amount of work you’re putting in. Overexertion can come from common warehousing movements like lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying, and strain from repetitive motion.
- Falls, slips, and trips
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Watch where you step and immediately report spills to your manager or supervisor.
Dress for Success (in PPE)
PPE, also known as Personal Protective Equipment, is extremely important for staying safe while working in the warehousing industry. This equipment goes on top of your work uniform and works to keep you safe from many different kinds of injuries.
The most common kinds of PPE include:
- Helmets to protect your head from falling items
- Hand protection in the form of gloves that can prevent cuts, burns, or other injuries
- Eye protection, such as goggles, that protect the eyes from chemicals, splashes, light, dust, and aerosols
- Steel-toed footwear that is often a requirement for any warehouse workers to protect feet from falling objects, as well as reduce fatigue
- Hearing protection like earmuffs, earplugs, or helmets with earmuffs to reduce exposure to loud noises on the floor
Stay Aware and Alert
Avoiding injury isn’t just about wearing the right gear. You also need to keep safety in mind in whatever you do on your job site. If your warehouse includes pedestrian walkways, stay within them as you’re moving around. Watch for equipment, such as forklifts, as equipment and pedestrians will often share walkways. When moving between stored items, watch for any falling items. If you notice something that seems out of place, contact your supervisor immediately.
Keep your team members safe too! If you notice something that seems unsafe, let them know, and if necessary, contact your supervisor about unsafe work practices.
You should follow some simple steps to stay safe on your job site. Never use material handling equipment without proper training and certification. It can be extremely dangerous to you and others.
For material handling, easily accessible items should be stored between knuckle and shoulder height. Heavier items should be stored lower, and lighter items should be stored higher. Use care when unloading pallets.
Be careful when using blades to cut. Make sure to hold knives or box cutters away from your body, and immediately store them when you finish using them.
If you work around loading docks, be sure to learn proper procedures. And never jump from a loading dock! Always use the stairs or ramp.
Keeping yourself and others safe on your warehousing assignment is a simple step to success when you’re a part of the TeamWRX team!