Health and Safety Tips for Warehouse Workers
When you think of a warehouse, you probably imagine a cavernous space filled with boxes and shelves. It’s probably not the most glamorous job, but warehouse work can be very rewarding. The work is fast-paced and challenging, allowing you to stay outdoors and active. If you love math and science or are eager for a job that isn’t deskbound, then working in a warehouse might be for you. Working in a warehouse certainly has its challenges, but if you keep your head up and remain aware of your surroundings at all times, you’ll be fine.
Here are some helpful tips on how to safely make it through your first day and every day after that as a warehouse worker.
Be careful of moving equipment.
Warehouses are full of heavy equipment, and moving or lifting items too heavy can cause injuries. If you have to lift something heavy, use the proper lifting techniques to avoid strains and sprains. If you’re working with a forklift or other heavy machinery, read the operator’s manual and follow all safety precautions. Similarly, if you have to move heavy items, take your time and do so with proper form to avoid strains and sprains. Avoid moving things in an overexerted or hazardous way, and if you have any doubts, ask your supervisor for help. If you are moving a heavy item, lift with your legs, not your back. Always keep your knees bent and your back straight, and maintain the item’s centre of gravity.
Watch out for falling objects.
As you’re surveying your surroundings, look for falling objects. This can be anything from boxes to pieces of heavy machinery. If you see something falling, use all your might to move out of its path, as it could injure you. You can also look for items that might fall on you. Make sure to keep your head and body out of the way of items such as pallets, forklift tines, or cranes. If you’re working near a high platform or a suspended or falling object, make sure to ask your supervisor to move you to a safer position.
Stay aware of your surroundings.
One of the most important things is to stay aware of your surroundings. While this might sound like common sense, it’s something that many warehouse workers overlook. Make sure to pay special attention when moving pallets, heavy machinery, or setting up the workplace for the day. If you’re moving pallets, don’t walk away with the pallet jack until you are certain it is balanced. Avoid operating heavy machinery while you’re walking around, and, as a general rule, avoid walking around moving equipment. If you have to walk around a dangerous area, keep your eyes on your path. Avoid looking at your phone while walking around a warehouse, as you could easily walk into a pallet or forklift and get injured.
Protect your hands and feet
Warehouses are full of sharp edges and corners, so make sure to protect your hands and feet by either wearing gloves or covering your shoes. You can find fingerless gloves for protection against cuts and abrasions and shoes with steel toes for extra protection against falling objects and cuts. You can also use protective tools such as a mat designed to reduce the risk of falling objects such as pallets and boxes from injuring your feet and hands. Another way to protect your hands is by wearing a long-sleeved shirt or jacket to cover your skin. You can also apply a quality hand cream both before and after work to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
Warehouse work is certainly challenging, but with proper safety precautions, you can make it through each day safely. Remember to be alert, cautious, and aware of your surroundings, and always wear the right PPE for your job. Most importantly, always stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid heat exhaustion. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a rewarding career in the warehouse.