Do you work in a warehouse? Well, you aren't alone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over 1.14 million Americans work in the warehousing and storage industry. As a warehouse worker, though, you may be exposed to several hazards that, if left unchecked, can lead to bodily injury. To promote a safer working environment, you should consider the six following tips.
#1) Watch Your Back
Warehouse workers tend to experience back injuries more frequently than workers in other injuries. During a typical workday, you may be required to lift and move dozens of boxes. If you use an improper lifting, it may strain your back to the point where it causes back pain.
#2) Beware of Spills
You should beware of spilled water, oil, chemicals and other liquids when working in a warehouse. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slip-and-fall accidents are responsible for 15% of all accidental deaths in the workplace. If you discover spilled liquid in your warehouse, clean it up in a timely manner. Otherwise, you or another worker could slip and fall on it.
#3) Don't Wear Headphones
Unless your job exposes you to loud noises -- in which case noise-canceling headphones may prove useful -- you shouldn't wear headphones when working in a warehouse. While listening to your favorite music may sound harmless, it can place you at a greater risk of injury. If you wear headphones in the warehouse, you won't be able to hear your surroundings.
#4) Wear PPE
Of course, you should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to lower your risk of injury when working in a warehouse. In the United States, employers are required to provide their workers with the appropriate PPE for their respective job. Common types of PPE supplied to warehouse workers include impact-resistant eyewear, steel-toe boots and gloves.
#5) Look When Crossing Corners
Always look when crossing corners in a warehouse. Even if you think the corner is clear, there could be another worker barreling down the aisle in a forklift or other heavy machinery. By being a little more cautious, though, you can prevent collisions that could otherwise cause serious injury.
#6) Report Injuries
If an injury occurs in the warehouse where you work, you should report it to your employer immediately. Failure to report injuries could result in similar injuries occurring in the future. For the employer to fix the underlying hazard, he or she must know what caused the injury.