What Is a Warehouse Safety Checklist?
A warehouse safety checklist is used to enable operation managers to identify safety hazards. From there, they can take preventive measures to avoid workplace accidents and warehouse management errors. Using a checklist, warehouse workers ensure that all safety procedures are carried out in the warehouse to protect both themselves and their products.
According to the International Labor Organization, 2.3 million people have work-related accidents, and 340 million occupational deaths every year. Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) reported that the warehousing industry has a higher percentage of fatal injury rates than other industries.
To ensure sustainability in the operations, the work environment needs to be safe and healthy for the workers. While OSHA guidelines for warehouse did not clearly set regulations, its operations are part of the general industry requirements which include:
- Hazard Communication
- Fire Safety
- Emergency Action Plan
- Medical and First Aid
- Working Surfaces
- Exit Routes
In this article we talk about the following topics:
Why Is Warehouse Safety Important?
Warehouses can be dangerous places to work. It is important to understand the common hazards and risks in warehouses as they can lead to injuries and, in extreme cases, even death. Public authorities report an average of 16 deaths per year in the warehouse sector and 5 out of every 100 warehouse workers will be injured on the job. We introduce you to 8 of the most common safety risks in a warehouse as well as safety tips and resources to help you identify and control them.
What are Some Reasons to Work with a Warehouse Safety Checklist
Warehouse safety is of vital importance, not only for the stability of the business but also to protect the occupational health of the workers. In a warehouse, a large number of items are stored that can be dangerous to workers’ health, such as the handling of heavy machinery. When you work with a checklist for warehouse safety, you establish a safety protocol that will not only have positive results in the short term, but also in the long term: more safety, greater control, and compliance with current regulations. Following a 5s template for a warehouse safety audit is also an effective method.
What Are the Most Common Risks to Warehouse Safety?
If warehouse safety has never been reviewed, it may seem like an unnecessary and tedious task, but workplace safety should never be compromised for profit. Below, you can find the most common hazards and how to fix them according to OSHA’s warehouse guidelines.
1. Forklift Truck
Forklift trucks are critical equipment used in warehousing and storage facilities. However, if they are incorrectly operated, they can cause serious damage to operators, nearby workers, and property. Unsafe use of forklift trucks is the most commonly cited hazard in warehouse operations by OSHA. Basic OSHA warehouse safety tips for forklift trucks should be followed:
- Make sure that all forklift drivers are competent and have completed certified training. Perform regular refresher training and assessments when an operator is observed operating the truck in an unsafe manner.
- Make sure all goods are properly placed and stored before operation
- Perform daily inspections of forklift equipment before take-off to check for damage to the equipment.
One of the worst accidents that a worker can suffer is being trapped or crushed between a forklift truck and the loading ramp while working in a warehouse. This can happen when a forklift truck leaves the dock and hits a person.
- Forklift drivers must be alert and drive slowly on dock plates and ensure that the dock edges are free and safe to carry loads.
- Always make sure that warning signs and mechanisms are in place to prevent people from getting near docks.
Conveyor systems are often used in storage facilities for the transport of goods. However, conveyor belts pose serious risks to workers, including getting caught in equipment and hitting falling objects. To stay safe, it is important:
- Ensure that suitable protective devices are provided between the conveyor belt and the worker to prevent the tangling of clothing, body parts, and hair.
- For warehouse safety follow the correct locking procedures during maintenance and repair of the conveyor belt.
4. Material Storage
Improper stacking of loads and the storage of materials on shelves can lead to slips and falls.
- Keep gangways and passageways clear and in good condition so that workers cannot slip, trip or fall.
- Loads should be evenly and correctly positioned, heavier loads must be stacked on lower or middle shelves. Remember to remove only one load at a time.
5. Manual Lifting/Manual Handling
The most common cause of physical injury in warehouse and storage facilities is improper manual lifting and handling. This can cause musculoskeletal disorders if an unfavorable posture is adopted, unnatural movements are repeated, or work is carried out with overexertion.
- Plan in advance and determine whether the need for lifting can be minimized by applying good engineering design techniques.
- When carrying or moving loads, make sure that the correct ergonomic posture is maintained. If products are too heavy, ask an employee for help.
6. Hazardous Chemicals
A hazard communication program should be implemented when handling hazardous chemicals in the warehouse or your storage facilities. The hazard communication program should include effective training on chemical hazard identification, proper handling, storage and disposal of chemicals and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Learn how to conduct better warehouse safety inspections when handling and storing hazardous chemicals.
7. Charging Stations
Charging stations in storage facilities are used to refuel or recharge all driven equipment to make it work. The devices can be operated with petrol, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or battery. If the correct guidelines for warehouse safety are followed, fire and explosion may occur.
- Charging stations are away from open flames. Smoking is prohibited here and fire extinguishers should be available and in good working order in case of a fire.
- An adequate ventilation system must be installed to distribute harmful gases. Workers must always wear suitable PPE. Eyewash and shower facilities should be provided if workers are exposed to acids and chemicals.
8. Equipment Under Voltage
A Lockout Tagout program (LOTO) must be implemented in all warehouse operations to ensure that all live equipment is properly shut down. This prevents employees from getting between mechanical parts or suffering an electric shock. All affected personnel must be trained in LOTO procedures and in the use and removal of LOTO equipment after maintenance work has been performed. Check out this digital LOTO checklist to learn more for safety in your warehouse.
If safety procedures and warehouses hazards are disregarded for financial reasons, you put workers at serious risk of accidents and injuries. Training workers to be aware of hazards, conducting safety inspections, and implementing safety measures can help to maintain a safe and healthy working environment.
What Are the 7 Safety Tips?
A healthy and safe warehouse boosts employee productivity. Therefore, it just makes sense to ensure that it is safe for workers. Here are some tips you can include in your checklist and enhance your warehouse safety training:
Tip 1: Identify all hazards
Look at the things around you and evaluate all potential hazards and issues in the warehouse. Be aware of even the simple slip and trip hazards. Even something as harmless as a pencil can become harmful when someone steps on it while rushing past.
Tip 2: Provide training for your workers
Providing up-to-date training for your workers is essential. Aside from making sure your workers are efficient, obeying safe practices regularly is also essential. Through up-to-date training, workers are aware of non-compliance and updates. They will also be aware of safe working practices and first-aid.
Tip 3: Safe Storage
Aside from keeping the inventory full, storing your products and materials safely is essential. Improper storage can damage the materials and harm the workers. Objects that are improperly stacked on high shelves might fall and injure people.
Tip 4: Maintain cleanliness
A clean and organized warehouse is a safe work area. Organizing and cleaning your workspace lessens slip and trip hazards. If things are properly stored and labeled, it lessens the risks of accidents and injuries.
Tip 5: Use Safety Equipment
Wearing the proper personal protective equipment also mitigates injuries and accidents. Earplugs, safety boots, goggles, and hard hats are part of maintaining a safe work environment.
Tip 6: Conduct Regular Inspection
The absence of regular inspections will make employees complacent and forgetful. They might think management does not care so they won’t follow through. Regular inspections ensure that safety rules and regulations are followed and dangerous habits are eliminated.
Tip 7: Foster Open Communication
Maintaining an atmosphere of open communication can prevent accidents and injuries. Your workers should be able to approach management for updates, observations, and suggestions. Communication also makes your people feel valued. As a result, they will take ownership, making work processes much safer.
Use an App to Ensure Warehouse Safety
A digital solution can take warehouse security to a whole new level. Lumiform’s mobile app and desktop software allow you to carry out checks and regular inspections with complete flexibility. – Online or offline. Step by step, you are guided through the security checks, so you can reliably assess dangers and weak spots.
Furthermore, Lumiform’s digital application ensures that documentation is clean and transparent. Security officers benefit from the following additional advantages during the inspection.
- The flexible checklist builder from Lumiform helps you to convert any individual paper list into a digital checklist without much effort.
- In addition, we offer ready-made templates for warehouse safety checklists to help companies get started digitally.
- Using the super intuitive mobile app, you and your teammates can conduct checks in the field with ease.
- Warehouse safety reports are generated automatically – that saves you time on the follow-up.
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