Preventing Manual Material Handling Injuries in Your Warehouse
With a number of moving equipment pieces, storage and handling needs, and manual handling, warehouses are a hub of activity— and risk. In 2017 alone, 222,189 lost-time claims were made in Canada due to traumatic injuries and disorders. Of these claims, countless could have been prevented with better safety precautions, workplace training, and standardized practices. Warehouses, like every workplace, have their own unique challenges and dangers which is why it’s important to take each into special consideration when considering improving safety processes.
There’s a good reason why most material movement in warehouses is done by equipment. Manual lifting and moving of materials such as boxes, equipment, or supplies can be strenuous on the body and lead to a number of injuries. These injuries are preventable and can be dealt with through a few careful precautions.
Three Ways to Prevent Manual Material Handling Injuries in the Warehouse
Provide information, instruction, and supervision to workers to protect them from material handling hazards. Some ways of achieving this are posting clear videos and instructions on how to safely lift objects, ensure that team members know to ask for help when lifting particularly heavy items, and be sure that spotters are in place for activities such as ladder usage.
Regular safety meetings to learn new preventative measures and brush up on the current policy can also help in preventing accidents.
2) Removing Risk Opportunities
Take every possible precaution and create a workplace suitable to protect workers from injury. Regular clean up’s and organizations of the workspace help to ensure that all materials are in their proper place, so they don’t need to be moved as often.
Every employee that has to manually move items should have all necessary PPE available to them. This can include steel-toed boots to protect from any dropped objects, hand protection to prevent cuts and splinters, as well as eye and head protection for falling objects.
3) Equipment Maintenance
Ensure equipment, materials and protective devices required by the regulations (such as lifting devices and mobile equipment, etc.) are provided and maintained in good condition. Regular equipment maintenance is imperative for worker safety. Following the maintenance schedule of the equipment as suggested by the manufacturer and doing regular inspections of equipment can prevent not only employee safety concerns but can also extend the life of your equipment.
Ultimately, warehouse safety is about awareness and prevention. By making your staff aware of their risks and role in preventing injuries and by providing a well-maintained warehouse, lost time doesn’t have to happen.
Further information on how to identify hazards and prevent slips, trips and falls can be found here, or you can contact us directly at BCL.Calgary@bclconsulting.ca, BCL.Edmonton@bclconsulting.ca, by phone, at 1-844-377-9545 or you can connect with us on Facebook ,Twitter , or LinkedIn.