December 21st 2022 

Safety Practices in the Workplace and Warehouse

Happy New Year!!

Well, as we say good-bye to another year, it’s time to focus on our workplace again…

As an employer or employee, it's important to prioritize safety in the office. Not only is a safe work environment essential for preventing accidents and injuries, but it also promotes a positive and productive work culture. In this blog post, we'll discuss common office hazards, ways to mitigate risks, and healthy behaviors to promote in the workplace.

Identifying Potential Hazards:

One of the first steps in promoting office safety is to identify potential hazards. Some common hazards in office environments include:

Trip and fall hazards: Loose cords, cluttered walkways, and uneven surfaces can all increase the risk of falls.

Ergonomic risks: Poor posture and repetitive movements can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain.

Chemical and electrical safety: Chemicals used in the office, such as cleaning products and toner, can be hazardous if not used properly. Electrical equipment, such as computers and printers, also pose potential safety risks if not maintained and used correctly.

Here are 4 of the most common warehouse safety issues:

1. Forklifts

Forklifts are critical pieces of equipment used in warehousing and storage facilities. However, when operated incorrectly can cause serious damage to operators, nearby workers and property. Unsafe use of forklifts is the most often cited hazard in warehousing operations by OSHA. Below are a few basic warehouse safety tips to follow in forklift use:

• Ensure all forklift operators are competent and have completed certified training. Perform regular refresher training and evaluation when an operator is observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner. Forklifts are critical pieces of equipment used in warehousing and storage facilities. However, when operated incorrectly can cause serious damage to operators, nearby workers and property.

2. Docks

One of the worst accidents a worker could suffer when working in a warehouse is being pinned or crushed between a forklift truck and the loading dock. This typically occurs when a forklift runs off the dock and strikes a person. Follow the tips below to improve safety for warehouse workers:

• Forklift operators must be attentive and drive slowly on dock plates, make sure dock edges are clear and safe to support loads.

• Always ensure that warning signs and mechanisms are in place to prevent people from getting near docks.

3. Materials storage

Improper stacking of loads and storage of materials on shelves can result in unintended slip and trip hazards for nearby workers.

• Keep aisles and passageways clear and in good condition, this prevents workers from slipping, tripping, or falling.

• Loads should be placed evenly and properly positioned, heavier loads must be stacked on lower or middle shelves. Always remember to remove one load at a time.

4. Manual lifting/handling

The most common cause of physical injuries in warehouse and storage facilities involves improper manual lifting and handling. Failure to follow proper procedures can cause musculoskeletal disorders, especially if done with awkward postures, repetitive motions, or overexertion. Warehouse safety during manual lifting or handling can be ensured by doing the following:

• Plan ahead and determine if the need for lifting can be minimized by applying good engineering design techniques.

• Observe proper ergonomic posture when carrying or moving loads. If products are too heavy, ask assistance from a co-worker.

Implementing Safety Protocols:

Once potential hazards have been identified, it's important to implement protocols to mitigate risks and promote a safe office environment. Some steps that can be taken include:

Providing proper training and equipment: Employees should be trained on how to properly use equipment and handle chemicals, and given the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to do so safely.

Conducting regular safety inspections: Regular inspections can help identify and address any potential hazards before they become a problem.

Establishing emergency procedures: It's important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency, such as a fire or medical emergency. Employees should be trained on how to respond and who to contact in case of an emergency.

Promoting Healthy Behaviors:

In addition to addressing potential hazards, it's also important to encourage healthy behaviors in the workplace. This includes:

Practicing good ergonomics: Encourage employees to sit with proper posture, take breaks to stretch and rest, and use ergonomic equipment when possible.

Seeking support for concerns or stress: It's normal to experience stress and other mental health concerns in the workplace. Encourage employees to seek support and resources if they need it.

Office safety is crucial for preventing accidents and injuries, and promoting a positive and productive work culture. By identifying potential hazards, implementing safety protocols, and encouraging healthy behaviors, employers and employees can work together to create a safe office environment.

• Reinforce proper ergonomics at all times.

Warehouse employees do a lot of heavy lifting, and it is important that they are trained in the proper lifting procedures so that they avoid hurting others and themselves. Your warehouse safety program should cover ergonomics in the workplace. Aside from proper lifting and operation of lifting tables, remind employees to maintain proper posture in general. If they have to do manual lifting, train them in the proper techniques that will help protect the back and knees from injury.

• Ensure that all fire hazards are minimized and that appropriate fire safety measures are in place.

If you have an operating warehouse facility, you probably have all the necessary fire alarms, extinguishers, and sprinklers as required by safety regulations in your area. While this is all well and good, it won’t matter if the people in the warehouse aren’t trained in their proper use. Schedule regular training and inspections to ensure that all employees are knowledgeable in fire safety processes and that all fire safety measures are in place and functioning as required.

Happy New Year and Safe working conditions to you all………..

Darla Henderson