Even on the best of days, working in a warehouse is hard work. From heavy lifting to working around heavy equipment and being on your feet all day, working in a warehouse is not for the faint of heart. Inside a warehouse, it is common to find that temperatures are not always regulated. This can expose workers to extremes of hot and cold. We are living in the age of online ordering, where everyone expects to get their packages immediately. With this rise in consumerism comes a rise in the demands placed on the workers who fulfill those orders. In order to avoid getting hurt on the job, you need to know how to safely work in a warehouse.
How-to Safely Work in a Warehouse: Preventing Accidents
In order to safely work in a warehouse, employees should have the proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). These can include hard hats, high-visibility jackets, safety glasses or goggles, safety boots with steel toe caps, overalls, and safety gloves. Employers should evaluate what PPE is needed to do a job safely, and provide that PPE to their employees. They must also train employees on how to use and care for the equipment, and maintain or replace it as needed.
However, the employer is not the only one responsible for the PPE in a workplace. Employees must actually wear the PPE, and do so properly. They must also attend training sessions, care for, clean and properly store PPE. Also, employees need to notify a supervisor when their equipment is ready for replacement.
Stocking, Loading and Unloading
As an employee in a warehouse, you will likely have to do some form of stocking, loading or unloading. Do your best to stack the loads as straight and even as possible, placing heavier loads on lower shelves. There should be a marking to show the maximum height restrictions for stacking loads, and employees should follow this guideline. While working, be mindful and aware of machinery like forklifts. Make sure to keep the aisles clear for them. You should have proper training before operating a forklift. Always look in every direction before you move the forklift, and sound the horn at intersections, crosswalks and in other busy areas.
In order to safely work in a warehouse, you need to make sure you lift things properly. Failure to do this can lead to an injury. If it is possible, use powered equipment to life things instead of doing that manually. If an item is too bulky for you to lift with power equipment, but too heavy for you to handle, make sure to ask for help. Remember to lift with your legs instead of your back. Additionally, do not twist while carrying a load. Instead, take small steps to move in the direction you are wanting to go in.