Warehouses are a dangerous environment. There are constantly moving parts, and if warehouse workers are not careful, they can become injured in the blink of an eye. Even the most highly trained employees can find themselves in a jam if they do not pay enough attention to their surroundings. Here are some safety topics you should be discussing and reviewing with your warehouse workers on a regular basis.
Loading Docks. With or without a forklift, loading docks are one of the most hazardous areas in a warehouse. Employees should be reminded to only move one item at a time from the dock. They should also always place the heavier objects in lower areas, while light objects can be placed up high. Not only does this keep the shelves stable, but it is also easier on employees’ backs as they do not have to lift heavy objects to great heights. Loading docks can also prove hazardous when items start to block the walkway. Most workers will kick boxes out of the way if they impede their path. However, the proper way to move boxes is to push or carry them out of the way. This keeps workers form getting hurt and product from being damaged.
Hand Trucks. Hand trucks are potentially dangerous for many reasons. Loads which are put on hand trucks must be carefully placed so they will not become unstable and fall. As with any other stacking procedures, heavier items on hand trucks should be placed below the lighter items. It is also important to ensure that the hand truck operator is pushing the load in the correct way. The bulk of the load should be on the axle and not on the handles. Operators should be cautious while rounding corners with hand trucks so they do not have a collision with a pallet, rack, or another worker.
Lift Tables. This piece of machinery should only be used by certified operators. When operators are loading the lift table, they need to make sure that they do not exceed its load capacity. At no time should a lift table ever be used to transport a human, unless of course it is a lift table specifically designed for that purpose.