Many people believe that working in a warehouse is risky, and in fact, there are many ways that this type of job can be dangerous. There can be a lot of heavy machinery, highly stacked boxes, heavy items, and more. All of these elements together can lead to a high risk for employees, but they can also be properly addressed by companies to help keep the risks low by following our manual handling tips.
If a warehouse is run properly with proper health and safety procedures in place, then that warehouse can be a very safe place to work, much like any other working environment. The following are just a few manual handling tips to help keep everyone safe.
The Importance Of Training
To start with, proper training can help reduce the amount of injuries that occur as the result of manual handling.
Novice warehouse workers, or those who come from other jobs and believe that they will cope with physical work easily, are usually the most likely to suffer from manual handling injuries. Long hours, heavy strain, and lifting heavy objects can easily all lead to both short and long term injuries. If all new employees are taught stretching exercises to do before work, effective lifting techniques that reduce strain on the body, and good posture, then the risk of injury is reduced. It is recommended that this type of training is completed every few months to help reinforce good manual handling.
Space & Layout
The layout of a warehouse can also contribute to manual handling injuries. In this case, making simple changes is sometimes all it takes to create a safer workplace. There should be plenty of space for everyone to move around in, including room for trolleys and heavy pieces of machinery such as tow trucks. Space should be open so that employees aren’t constantly bumping into each other. Anytime there is a spill, it should be immediately cleaned to prevent accidental falls.
Lifting, Carrying and Other Hazards
In addition, when it comes to manual handling employees need to be careful about the weight and size of items they carry. Items should be designed to be easy to carry, and they should not exceed the weight of what someone is able to carry safely. If they do, then a cart or similar should be used instead. Employees should also be trained to work as a team to make sure that the warehouse stays safe, and that any potential hazards are immediately reported and taken care of by a supervisor.