Anyone who has sat through a safety training class or completed an online module knows how overbearing warehouse safety rules can sometimes feel. While the material may be dry, being aware of and adhering to workplace safety regulations is key to a safe and efficient work experience and, in many situations, could even mean the difference between life and death.
Regardless of what type of warehouse you are working in, it is essential to follow various rules and regulations to preserve your own safety and the safety of others around you. Here are some ways to effectively maintain a safe working environment and decrease your risk of suffering an on-the-job injury.
While it may seem obvious, failure to wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) is the source of thousands of worker injuries in the warehousing industry each year. If you are performing any task that could put you at risk of physical harm, ensuring that you have properly fitted and functional PPE is an absolute necessity.
Depending on the environment you are working in, certain types of PPE like high-visibility vests, hard hats, and steel-toed boots may need to be worn at all times while on the warehouse floor. In other situations, specialized equipment like safety goggles, respirators, safety gloves, or even sunscreen may be essential to safely performing your assigned duties. Whatever the equipment requirements are for a particular task, make sure you follow them to the letter to prevent workplace injuries from occurring.
Clutter is one of the most underemphasized hazards in the average warehouse, in part because it sometimes seems like a natural part of warehouse work. However, there is nothing natural about debris in transit areas, liquid spills in densely packed aisles, or collected dust and grime in and around heavy machinery – all of which could cause a serious accident if not promptly addressed.
Furthermore, take closeout procedures seriously and make sure you leave each work area as clean and tidy as possible to decrease your own risk of injury and that of a fellow worker.
Conveyor belts, pallet jacks, forklifts, and other pieces of equipment that are necessary for warehouse operations now have extensive rules for safe operation after prior accidents resulting in life-altering injuries. No warehouse employee should operate or work around heavy machinery without appropriate PPE, training, and familiarity with relevant safety rules.
In short, following warehouse rules and regulations is essential to protecting your and your co-workers’ safety. By following these tips and other recommendations from organizations like OSHA, you can greatly improve your chances of a safe and successful warehousing career.