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Health and safety in warehouses

Health and safety in warehouses

There are many dangerous and hazardous jobs that can risk workers’ lives day-to-day. While there are lots of dangerous examples that spring to mind, for example: deep-sea fisherman, firefighter, pilot, oil rig worker – one that doesn’t spring to mind is those that work in warehouses. It can be an incredibly hazardous place to work, if the proper precautions aren’t in place.

Here are some of the top health and safety hazards that occur in most warehouses, and ways to avoid them:

Heavy apparatus

Those that work in a warehouse using heavy equipment daily can tend to get laid back about the apparatus’ use. This could be a huge disadvantage, as workers may forget about the obvious dangers that those machines may cause. Make sure that all employees are aware of the potential dangers of machines in the warehouse, including forklifts. Employees must always be careful and cautious when operating any heavy machinery.

Harmful chemicals

There can be many harmful substances in some warehouses; many of which will not be obvious to all workers. Asbestos is a main worry for older companies – but many have been assessed for materials and substances that are harmful to workers. Always keep up to date, flag up any concerns that you may have- just so that you are ready for any inspections.

Falling objects

Many warehouses have items that are stacked too high – falling objects are always a hazard when items are stacked incredibly high on shelves or platforms. If it isn’t possible to change your stacking and shelving units, it’s recommended to keep heavy loads stacked as low and neatly as possible. If there are cylindrical items – stacking them the correct way can avoid them rolling if they happen to fall.

Slipping and tripping

This may be one of the easiest hazards to avoid in the warehouse; yet they happen too often. Make sure that your warehouse gets rid of some important factors that result in tripping; such as loose items on the floor, liquids, boxes, badly lit areas – and unnecessary bumps or steps on the floor. It is also possible to use anti-slip tape on the floor, for more grip.

Moving vehicles

As the HSE (Health and Safety Executives) state, vehicles at work continue to be a major cause of fatal and major injuries. Every year there are over 5000 incidents involving transport in the workplace, with about 50 of these resulting in people being killed. It is estimated that up to one third of all road traffic accidents involve someone who is working.

So how can we avoid accidents involving moving vehicles in warehouses?

The HSE advise three simple key areas to consider first:

  • Safe Site
  • Safe Vehicle
  • Safe Driver

ZoneSafe covers all of these, offering people and asset protection with its range of proximity warning and alert systems. Using innovative identification and detection technologies, ZoneSafe significantly reduces the risk of accidents, injury and damage to people and assets on work sites.

For more information, visit www.zonesafe.net or call 01202 868000.

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