Common Warehouse Hazards and How to Prevent Them

All types of work come with occupational hazards and risks, especially in a warehouse environment. Accidents and fatal injuries affect productivity, workforce hours, the damage of stock and the company’s bottom line.

Warehouse managers and employees can lessen these potential hazards and associated risks by taking the necessary precautions and safety measures. Awareness of these common warehouse hazards is the first step to avoid them.

So, here are the most common warehouse hazards and the ways to prevent them:

1. Falling objects

Normal practice in warehouses is to stack items on high platforms and shelves. The higher the racks are, the greater the risk of falling objects. Moreover, the damage caused by these falling incidents depends on the type and weight of the object.

To prevent these hazards, especially those that are located in higher platforms, shelves must be fully secured. Appropriate tools and stacker trucks must be used in transporting these items. It is also important that employees are provided with the proper training on safe handling and materials storage. Warehouse managers and supervisors should conduct safety checks regularly.

2. Exposure to harmful chemicals or substances

Warehouse employees can be exposed to toxic substances that may cause serious harm to their health. Cleaning supplies, in particular, can cause injury if not properly handled. Take note of any substances in the warehouse that are relatively safe in the beginning but can become hazardous over time.

To reduce the risk, it is important to wear appropriate protective gear and to ensure that all employees are well-trained on safety procedures, such as how to handle chemicals properly, as well as storage and disposal. A control system in using chemicals must be implemented and strictly followed.

Wherever possible, avoid using harmful chemicals and opt for environmentally friendly, natural substances. Envirobridge supply a range of enzyme-based cleaning products for cleaning up oils and hydrocarbons from both hard and porous surfaces.

3. Forklift accidents

One of the most serious kinds of accidents within a warehouse are forklift accidents. Fatal injuries and deaths can occur when forklifts are incorrectly used. To avoid these accidents, employees who are operating forklifts must be trained thoroughly and must be certified to use this type of heavy machinery.

4. Fire

Fire is another serious warehouse hazard. Some of the common causes of fire are electricity, lighting, heating equipment and ‘exposures’, which refer to combustible materials that are not yet on fire, but could be if the fire spreads.

To reduce the risk of fire, it is important to cover exposed wires with nonflammable materials, if necessary, and to observe any leaks, unidentified spills and gases that could ignite. If by chance an employee detects a fire hazard, he/she must report it immediately to the warehouse manager.

5. Slips, trips and falls

Slips, trips and falls are very common in a warehouse environment. These can be caused by liquid spills, poor lighting, unsecured mats, stray cables and scattered loose items in walkways.

To avoid these hazards, make sure to clear the workspace of any obstacles, immediately clean up spills on the floor, regularly check lighting and change burnt-out light bulbs as soon as possible. Employees should also wear proper attire, including the proper shoes.

Envirobridge specialist cleaning teams can handle deep cleaning services, achieved to a benchmark standard. Whether it is high level warehouse cleaning, factory cleaning or comprehensive industrial floor cleaning, in occupied areas or empty areas, we aim to work with you to make sure that the end cleaning product presents a sparkling clean professional image to your public and customers.

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Download the FREE productivity guide!

As the owner or manager of a busy warehouse, productivity and efficiency are at the top of your list of priorities. You can never be too efficient when running your own business. You may think you’ve tried it all but you may be wrong! Often it is the most obvious things that get overlooked and in fact they end up being the things that cost your business the most. So we have created a guide that highlights the few simple ways that you could save yourself and your business precious time and money.

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