Warehouses and stockrooms are known places where health and safety hazards abound. Of course, major hazards are generally easily identified, while other less obvious dangers are rarely top of mind without adequate markings and employee education. Unfortunately, these unseen hazards can be just dangerous if you’re not aware of them. The following are just a few of the more common health and safety hazards that your workers – and visitors to your facilities – need to be aware of.
Certainly, one area of potential danger is in how materials and displays are stored. Although less common, it is possible that if items are not able to be properly stored, they can pose health hazards for workers and others. It is imperative to ensure overall health and safety to make people aware of these types of hazards. Think of the child pulling on a seemingly harmless cord only to have that item topple over – but imagine this in a workroom or storehouse scenario. Accidents can happen everywhere, but the responsibility is on the owner of the facility to ensure that everyone is made aware of the potential dangers, and using warning decals on and around these areas is an effective way to mitigate these dangers.
Despite educating your personnel on how to properly lift heavy objects, injuries are still very common. Because each worker is different, you can’t always predict how carrying or lifting an item will cause bodily strain. Pressure and prolonged exposure to heavy labor can result in injuries no matter the size and shape of the person doing the lifting. That’s why back, leg, and foot injuries are commonplace in factory and warehouse settings. Educating workers on personal awareness can be an effective line of defense against these types of injuries. Personnel should also have the freedom to alert a supervisor if they feel they are at risk. Additionally, for continued injury prevention, all warehouse employees should be trained in proper lifting techniques.
Tripping, Slipping and Falling Hazards
These types of hazards can be very dangerous because they are not always easy to spot. For example, employees entering a building while it’s raining outside may cause stairs or floors to be slippery. Even in well-lit areas, it can be difficult to spot clear liquids on the floor. In other situations, sawdust can be just as hazardous, as it can create a slick surface, which may result in a dangerous fall. Falls, despite misconceptions, do not have to be from a high position to be dangerous. Falling down stairs or falling from a short ladder or stool can be just as serious as falling from greater heights. In addition to general awareness by workers, it is advisable to help prevent slips with diligently cleaning, and caution signs should be visibly present to remind employees to keep a clean work station, walkway, and floor. To help prevent falls, higher locations should include guard rails, while steps and ledges should utilize anti-slip tape.
Heavy machinery, even when operated by experienced workers, is a concern when it comes to workplace safety. With so many moving components, these types of machines can be extremely dangerous if safety precautions are not implemented. Employees should be educated on what to look for when operating heavy machinery. They should also know what specific warning labels mean to ensure their safety as well as the safety of other employees. Similarly, appropriate labels and warning markings should be placed in strategic and prominent locations. Two additional precautions are ensuring that equipment is properly maintained and that only trained staff should be permitted to use this type of heavy machinery.
Naturally, large facilities like warehouses and factories can have numerous caution areas where health and safety are a priority, but so can smaller stockrooms and offices. However, taking the proper precautions and undergoing necessary training can help ensure that your staff and any visitors are ensured a safe and hazard-free environment.
Visit our Safety & Warning decals page for more information on the importance of these types of graphics.