Stats New Zealand reports that 5 percent of work-related injury claims in 2017 are from the transport, postal and warehousing industries. Warehouse owners, managers and safety officers have an opportunity to reduce this number further when they enforce better safety measures in their workplace.
One way to do this is to improve warehouse ergonomics. Such measures will help prevent potential injuries and accidents, as well as help ensure that the work environment is safer for all.
Find areas to improve warehouse ergonomics
Warehouse managers and health and safety officers need to work towards minimising and eventually eliminating floor-level lifting, stretching to reach loads above or below arm level and putting people in positions that require excess bending and stretching for long periods of time.
An area inspection needs to be set in place to check for potential hazards. For instance, health and safety officers should check the current warehouse workflow for repetitive motion. If a specific function requires constant reaching for, lifting or carrying things all the time, the practice may need to be revised. The warehouse may also need to utilise specific technology to perform such repetitive tasks, as these could lead to physical strain and injury.
Health and safety officers must also work towards reducing forceful exertion. They can redesign lifting tasks to ensure that anyone can carry the load, no matter how their bodies are built. This concept reduces vigorous exertion and enables more employees to carry out the task.
Prevent slips, trips and falls
Work Safe New Zealand reports that slips, trips and falls are among the most common injuries for workers. These incidents can cause severe damage to one’s ankles, knees or back, which may lead to long-term problems that may affect the quality of life. Falls from low heights may cause serious injuries or death. Many slips, trips and falls can be prevented, and there are cost-effective solutions that can be implemented in the workplace to minimise or control these risks.
Work Safe recommends that employees must keep their respective work and access areas clear. Personnel must take time to tidy up after they finish their work. Management must also ensure that designated walkways are provided with good conditions underfoot, with appropriate signs and lighting. Instead of carrying heavy or unwieldy loads, mechanical lifting aids can be utilised so as not to block one’s view ahead.
Site Safe also recommends doing the Step Back 5 x 5 job safety activity: to take 5 steps back and spend 5 minutes planning the job. It also entails asking five questions:
- What will I be doing?
- What are the hazards?
- Which equipment do I need?
- How can I get hurt?
- What if something unexpected happens?
Heavy equipment accidents
When labourers work with heavy equipment daily, they tend to get complacent while using the equipment. It can be dangerous, especially if the worker underestimates the inherent safety risks of operating machinery. Ensuring that all employees understand the potential hazards of heavy machinery can go a long way towards keeping them safe as they work. They also need to be cautious when operating any machines and be mindful of following specific instructions provided for the equipment.
We provide racking inspection services for your warehouse
Shelving Shop Group provides pallet racking inspections for your warehouse. We comply with Australian and New Zealand safety standards, ensuring that your employees and inventory are safe.
We conduct warehouse safety audits as a measure against accidents and worker injury, while securing the integrity and performance of your warehouse systems.
Contact us today to set an inspection schedule for your warehouse.