4 Essential Health and Safety Tips for Warehouse Employees
Warehouse safety should be a priority for every company. The various tasks and activities in the warehouse can pose numerous health and safety risks. If you cannot control these, you will have to deal with a high employee turnover rate, absenteeism due to illness or injury, and, worse, costly legal issues. Whether you are the manager, supervisor, or owner, you are legally required to implement health and safety procedures to keep the warehouse employees safe. Below are essential health and safety tips for those working in the warehouse.
- Risk Assessment
There should be a warehouse manager responsible for carrying out a risk assessment of the warehouse. To identify any hazards and risks, they should walk around the place and note any activities that could pose a threat. The manager must discuss these issues with the union safety representative, and they should agree with a solution to minimize health and safety risks among employees.
When doing a risk assessment, the manager should note down who could be harmed by the hazards and how. They should also take note of the things that have already been done to control these risks and record any further actions needed.
- Manual Handling
Manually lifting and moving by hand is one of the leading causes of warehouse accidents. It is also very common for warehouse employees to get injured due to bad backs. Therefore, one way to ensure the health and safety of warehouse employees is to identify which manual handling tasks pose the most significant risk.
Employees should be asked what they believe is the most hazardous when lifting and moving objects around the warehouse. Management should look for ways to make it easier and safer for employees to carry or lift heavy objects. They should consider using mechanical aids, like portable roller conveyors, scissor lifts, customized trolleys, etc. Often overlooked, this is one of the most essential health and safety courses that can be done online and at the pace of the employee.
- Working at Heights
One of the most common causes of injuries and fatalities in the warehouse is working at height. Common reasons include falling from ladders and into fragile surfaces. One way to keep employees safe from these injuries is to ensure that their work is adequately planned and that working at height should only be done by competent employees with the knowledge and skills to do the job safely. Safety equipment must be worn by anyone working at height, such as guardrails, tower scaffolds, scissor lifts, etc.
- First Aid
Since warehouses are full of potential risks to the employees’ health and safety, it requires a comprehensive first aid strategy. The first aid kit should have enough dressing, bandages, and plasters. Generally, the HSE requires 20 sterile plasters, four triangular bandages, and two sterile wound dressings in every workplace. In a warehouse setting, it should be significantly more.
For warehouses that have potentially harmful substances or liquids, it’s essential to have enough supplies of sterile eyewash. There should also be burn kits, especially if employees are exposed to harmful substances that can lead to burns. More importantly, warehouse employees should have proper first aid training.