Slips, trips and falls can happen in any workplace, no matter how safe it may seem. Even an office can be filled with hazards. But a warehouse takes safety to a whole new level of concern because of the ease in which slips and falls can happen. Chemical leaks, wet floors, inventory left on floors, and more can add to the dangers present in a warehouse.
The U.S. Department of Labor advises that slips and falls are the majority of industrial warehouse accidents that account for:
- More than 95 million lost work days per year by hurt employees
- 25 percent of all injuries reported in workplaces every year
- 15 percent of all accidental deaths (right behind motor vehicle deaths)
It’s imperative that your company take steps to prevent slips, trips and falls to protect employees. Here are some potential hazards to avoid:
- Wet, newly waxed, sawdust covered, or greasy floors and surfaces
- Loose or damaged flooring, degrading floor mats, and uneven walking surfaces
- Steps without handrails or with damage
- Cluttered areas such as boxes of inventory stacked
- Electrical cords or cables laying across floors
- Ramps, sloped surfaces, and gang planks without skid-resistant tape
- Poorly maintained ladders, step-stools, and other reaching equipment
- Bad lighting in areas where these hazards exist
Preventing slips and falls comes down to two things:
- Education – Teaching employees about proper handling of products, parts, equipment, and work spaces. Demonstrating these methods through daily supervision and ongoing training.
- Reporting – Having a system for efficiently reporting potential hazards to floor supervisors and getting them repaired promptly. Letting employees know they are responsible for working safely and letting management know about problems.
The most obvious way to prevent slips and falls at work is to remove and repair any of the above hazards from work areas, whenever possible. Have a safety team on board to regularly inspect and modify work areas so that they are safer for employees. Notify employees if they are performing tasks in an unsafe manner and retrain them to do things the right way. Include safety information and training resources in employee common areas.
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