Warehouse Workplace Safety

October 2, 2015

The most recent thorough investigation into RIDDOR reports by the Health and Safety Executive found that 35% of all workplace accidents in the logistics industry happen in warehousing environments and therefore it is important all employers consider the safety of their employees carefully and have the right systems in place to protect against accidents. Like all accidents at work any employee who is injured due to their employer’s negligence is able to make a claim for compensation. Here we’re looking more closely at the workplace safety issues in the warehouse.

Warehouse Workplace

Hazardous Substances

Dependent on what the warehouse stocks and stores, there may need to be wariness about substances which are classed as hazardous. Information data sheets from COSHH should be provided alongside full assessments for all chemicals and materials considered hazardous. Even in regular warehouses there are some chemicals and substances which need to be stored correctly and safely such as forklift gases, engine oil and cleaning chemicals.

Manual Handling

Lifting and moving heavy objects is part of the trade of someone who works in a warehouse but they still need to receive adequate training and environment needs to be safe for lifting, with PPE and lifting equipment provided where necessary. Employees should be provided with proper training in manual handling techniques to help when loading and unloading lorries. Incorrect lifting and moving of any kind of item can result in musculoskeletal damage injuries or crush injuries and if employees weren’t properly trained or provided with adequate support, employers can be deemed negligent.

Safe and Clear Routes

Slip and trip accidents are a high risk in warehouses where there are many potential opportunities for clutter, trailing wires or cables. Equally, warehouses are often connected to a much larger premises and therefore a full range of procedures need to be in place to keep all walkways free from obstructions and this is also the case where forklifts and other warehouse vehicles and machinery are used.

Other Concerns

There are many standard issues for all workplaces that apply for warehouse environments, to protect employees from workplace accidents and injuries. These include correct fire procedure, full staff training, proper testing and maintenance and gas and electrical appliances and also protection from falls from height, with the right equipment and training necessary for the use of ladders, work platforms and machine steps.

Accidents at work can be life changing and they are almost always traumatic and painful for the injured party. Warehouse operators, owners and managers should do all in their power to ensure that their workplaces are fit for purpose and provide adequate support and protection for employees.

photo credit: Team Losi Warehouse via photopin (license)