When working in a warehouse, there are many potential hazards that could cause injury. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the rate of fatal injuries in the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all other industries.
OSHA’s top ten warehouse citations
OSHA reports that there are more than 145,000 people working in over 7,000 warehouses in the United States. Across all these warehouses, the ten most frequent citations for the warehouse industry are:
- Hazard communication
- Electrical, wiring methods
- Electrical, system design
- Guarding floor and wall openings and holes
- Mechanical power transmission
- Respiratory protection
- Portable fire extinguishers
Best practices for warehouse workers
Following safety guidelines is essential to cutting down on risks to warehouse workers. Here are some recommended best practices for your employees:
- Training and certification is required to use material handling equipment
- Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for hazards such as moving vehicles or unstable materials
- Pedestrians should only walk in designated areas and walkways
- Make eye contact with equipment operators. Don’t assume they can see you
- Don’t climb on pallet racks
- Use the proper method for lifting, pushing and pulling. Lift from a "Position of Power" by focusing your eyes straight ahead, staggering your feet and keeping your chest, knees and toes aligned. Hold the load close and remember “Nose Follows Toes” to avoid twisting.
- Maintain good housekeeping. Keep aisles and exits clear
- Don’t carry items up and down ladders to place in shelving
Make sure your employees are aware of safety standards and expectations. Use job hazard recognition to identify potential risks before they become an issue. By taking a proactive approach to safety, you can eliminate hazards and teach your employees how to stay out of danger.
Check the resource catalog for more safety materials.