Warehouse Safety Tips

January 9, 2014


Warehouse facilities can be hazardous to your safety in several ways, if the proper safety procedures are not being followed. Some of these scenarios are more common than others, but we will discuss the potential hazards and various ways to avoid them. A safe facility is one of the key components to maintaining a successful material handling operation.

Some of the most common hazards are also the most overlooked. These include potential hazards that could cause an employee to trip and fall while transporting material. This is generally caused by spills, uneven surfaces, and equipment improperly stored in aisle space. To avoid this, employees should make sure that they are only manually transporting product that is not too heavy for them and utilize lift equipment when appropriate.

Another common hazard caused by the improper storage of inventory is falling objects. If pallets or items are not neatly stacked, they can potentially fall out of the racking or shelving. This will not only compromise the safety of your employees but will also damage valuable products. Properly and neatly storing pallets or loose product is one way to avoid this, but accidents do happen. Make sure all forklift and lift equipment operators are properly trained to minimize human error, as this is typically the main cause.

Some common safety procedures that will reduce the amount of incidents in your warehouse include the following:

Never block emergency exits, first aid and eye wash stations, or fire extinguishers
Never leave sharp tools or parts out where people could accidentally cut themselves
Keep wires and cords off of floors and away from moisture
Properly store all items; do not leave in aisle space
Clean up any debris and spills immediately

The most straightforward, but still noteworthy safety procedure, is having common sense. This includes reading and obeying warning labels, staying aware of your surroundings, carefully handling tools and equipment and, especially, not fooling around. This could probably apply to any job in any facility, but the consequences are much more dramatic in a warehouse facility. Bumping into a desk might spill a coffee on some important paperwork, but an inattentive forklift driver bumping a rack in a warehouse might collapse the entire structure.

For a complete list of effective warehouse safety procedures, review OSHA regulations. There are several thousand regulations, so by no means is it realistic to learn all of them. They do come in handy if you are questioning the safety of a specific procedure, because OSHA outlines the proper safety techniques when utilizing virtually any piece of material handling equipment.

This is just a brief overview of our safety recommendations. Reading up on OSHA regulations and carefully reading all safety instructions on all equipment will also help ensure safety within your warehouse facility. American Surplus Inc. also carries a wide variety of used industrial safety products. This includes column guards and protectors, guard rails, hand railings, end of aisle guards, safety gates, wire enclosures, and more. This will help protect your equipment and facility from the occasional bump or collision.

Unsure of what you need for safety equipment? A member of our sales team will come to your warehouse facility and provide recommendations as to what safety equipment could be utilized. Give us a call today, we will happily work with you to provide solutions to your material handling concerns. We have been doing so for over 20 years and have over 30,000 clients to prove our success.