Warehouses are places susceptible to occupational accidents due to the handling and transfer of goods. Despite constant regulations and prevention policies, warehouses rank high on the list of the most dangerous places to work. The solution? Identify the critical points in the warehouse where the worker is most likely to suffer accidents and, consequently, develop an action plan for the prevention of occupational accidents.
At Australian work place safety, in addition to investing in
R&D to improve the machinery used at the end of production, we are aware of
the importance of the safety of workers who are at the forefront of logistics,
therefore, in the article Today we help you identify the places and situations
where the main risks to worker safety and the facilities themselves reside.
Potential hazards of sections in a warehouse
To understand the nature and location of occupational hazards, it is necessary to make a division of the different sections in a warehouse. Different activities and functions related to the operation of the warehouse logistics system are produced in each section. Thus, in a warehouse, the sections according to their function are the following:
- Unloading: The unloading area is used to receive merchandise from suppliers.
- Storage of the goods: Once the goods are received, they are stored either on shelves or on the floor for the next step.
- Preparation of goods: Goods are collected and transferred manually, in vehicles or conveyor belts to the loading dock.
- Loading: The end of the process consists of loading the goods from the warehouse at the unloading docks through conveyor belts or trucks and transporting them to the customers.
Unloading and loading area: risks and prevention
The first and last areas of the chain are the ones that pose the most dangers due to the high traffic of people, vehicles and packages.
When unloading trucks, falls may occur at the same or different level. Poor lighting, clutter, or no guardrails on the discharge dock can lead to fatal accidents from falls. In addition, the collapse of goods on workers can be caused by a deterioration in the pallets or the instability of the packages after the trip.
Due to the movement of vehicles of different sizes in such a limited space and with less lighting, people can be run over and collisions between machines.
On the other hand, the need for effort to unload or load the goods can suppose a musculoskeletal overstrain in workers if they do not have the proper rest or good postural hygiene. The nature of the goods is also important, as they may be dangerous goods.
- Preventive measures: The best measures to prevent the risks described above are to maintain adequate lighting, order and cleanliness. In addition, before starting the loading / unloading it is necessary to check the distance between the dock and the truck. Also, for safety, vehicles must have the engine turned off and the handbrake set. When manually loading merchandise, the worker must bend his knees and keep his back straight to avoid lumbar injuries.
Hazards in the goods storage and preparation section
These areas are potentially dangerous due to the accumulation of large loads, and if there is no reinforcement system or storage order, trapping and collapse of large and heavy goods can occur.
In these areas there is also traffic and collisions between machines and run over can occur. Forklift overturning is another fatal reason.
- Preventive measures: It is essential to wear the seat belt in the lifting machines and not to transport people in them. In the event of a rollover, the worker has to lean to the opposite side of the fall. In addition, if there are shelves, these must have maximum weight signs and the storage of the goods will have to be planned in advance.
Common sense is the best prevention
Teaching workers the most common causes of accidents will help them identify risky situations and places to act accordingly. Educating is essential for workers to learn how to deal with these possible contingencies. Although, as always, the best prevention measure is common sense and knowledge of the environment when working.
Do you know any more occupational hazards in warehouses? And
if so ... How do you think it could be prevented? Submit it to us through our online safety magazine today!