Preventing warehouse injuries starts with the actions of the employer. Working in a warehouse comes with injury risks from falls, moving heavy materials, falling objects, heavy machinery, and exposure to toxic chemicals. Workplace safety should be a priority for workers.
Common Types of Warehouse Injuries
Warehouse operations present many potential hazards for workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fatal injury rate for warehouse workers is higher than the national average for all other industries. The most common types of injuries include:
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are common warehouse accidents seen by a workers’ compensation attorney. Usually caused by liquid spills, floor debris, and electrical or extension cords, injuries include cuts, broken bones, back injuries, and head trauma.
Strains and Sprains
Preventing strains and sprains is almost impossible in a warehouse due to heavy lifting of materials, bending and stretching for objects, loading and unloading trucks, and moving dollies with heavy merchandise.
Falling Objects and Materials
Warehouses are used to store goods and materials. To increase storage space, racks and shelves are installed from floor to ceiling. To prevent head trauma and brain damage from falling objects, PPE equipment is essential.
Warehouse workers around forklift operations are vulnerable to severe crush injuries including severed nerves, broken bones, internal bleeding, organ damage, amputated limbs, spinal cord damage, and brain damage.
When warehouses store hazardous chemicals, worker safety relies on properly labeled containers that identify the chemicals with proper warning labels. Exposure to toxic chemicals are types of work injuries that result in permanent lung damage, brain damage, and death.
How to Prevent Warehouse Injuries in Chicago
According to OSHA, preventing warehouse injuries relies on adequate fire safety provisions, proper lockout procedures, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers.
Identify Warehouse Hazards
Warehouse operation managers must conduct regular on-site hazard assessments to determine all warehouse hazards. Proper work practices should be factored into time requirements for workers to perform warehouse tasks.
Conduct Regular Safety Inspections
OSHA recommends regular safety inspections to ensure proper warehouse ventilation, working fire extinguishers, well-maintained forklifts and moving equipment, safe loading dock platforms, and safe storage areas.
Implement Effective Warehouse Safety Measures
Preventing warehouse injuries requires safety measures put in place to address what are the 5 most frequent OSA violations. OSHA requires all workplace employers to meet safety standards for all warehouse workers or face steep fines and possible shutdowns.