WAREHOUSE SAFETY HAZARDS – WHAT THEY ARE, WHAT TO DO & HOW TO AVOID
Forklifts are critical pieces of equipment used in warehousing and storage facilities. However, when operated incorrectly can cause serious damage to operators, nearby workers and property
- Make sure the load is balanced and fully secure to prevent a forklift from tipping over.
- Ensure both forks are as far under the load as possible before lifting.
- Drive with the load as low as safely possible.
- Pay attention to posted speed limits and warning signs.
- Do not operate a forklift if you are not licenced to do so.
- Make sure you check your surroundings for hazards (including pedestrians)
One of the worst accidents a worker could suffer when working in a warehouse is being pinned or crushed between a forklift truck and the loading dock. This typically occurs when a forklift runs off the dock and strikes a person. Follow the tips below to ensure the safety of workers:
- Forklift operators must be attentive and drive slowly on dock plates, make sure dock edges are clear and safe to support loads.
- Always ensure that warning signs and mechanisms are in place to prevent people from getting near docks
Improper stacking of loads and storage of materials on shelves can result in unintended slip and trip hazards for nearby workers.
- Keep aisles and passageways clear and in good condition, this prevents workers from slipping, tripping, or falling.
- Loads should be placed evenly and properly positioned, heavier loads must be stacked on lower or middle shelves. Always remember to remove one load at a time.
The most common cause of physical injuries in warehouse and storage facilities involves improper manual lifting and handling. Failure to follow proper procedures can cause musculoskeletal disorders, especially if done with awkward postures, repetitive motions, or overexertion. Bend from the knees, engage your core, and always look for manual handling lifting aids such as trolleys etc, we encourage “buddy lifting” to lighten the loads
DRUG & ALCOHOL IN THE WORKPLACE
Please remember that it is an ARC STAFF policy that no worker is to be onsite under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is reinforced by our clients and many have drug testing policies in place. Please do not jeopardise your job or the safety of you and your colleagues by being at work under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
FATIGUE IN THE WORKPLACE
In a work context, fatigue is mental and/or physical exhaustion that reduces your ability to perform your work safely and effectively.
Signs of fatigue include:
- tiredness even after sleep
- reduced hand-eye coordination or slow reflexes
- short term memory problems and an inability to concentrate
- blurred vision or impaired visual perception
Work causes of fatigue might include:
- prolonged or intense mental or physical activity
- sleep loss and/or disruption of your internal body clock
- organisational change
- work scheduling
- excessively long shifts
- strenuous jobs
There are different ways workers can make sure they’re not at risk of fatigue in the workplace. To reduce the risk of being involved in a work incident caused by fatigue, you should:
- Comply with our and your host employers policies and procedures relating to fatigue.
- Understand your sleep, rest and recovery needs and get adequate rest and sleep away from work.
- Seek medical advice and help if you have or are concerned about a health condition that affects your sleep and/or causes fatigue.
- Assess your own fitness for work before starting.
- Monitor your level of alertness and concentration while you’re at work.
- Look out for signs of fatigue in the people you work with.
- In consultation with your supervisor, take appropriate steps to manage fatigue. For example, take a break, drink water, do some stretching or physical exercise, adjust the work environment (for example lighting and/or temperature).
- Talk to your supervisor if you think you’re at risk of fatigue.
- Assess your fatigue levels after work and make sensible commuting and accommodation decisions (for example avoid driving if you are feeling fatigued)
PPE (PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT)
Some workplaces do not insist on wearing PPE. Please note that regardless of the site policy, anyone working for ARC STAFF is required to wear steel capped safety boots and high vis vest/shirt/top whenever carrying out a shift that we have rostered you for.
This is to help maintain your safety in the workplace.
We encourage minimal jewellery when working and ensure that long hair is tied back for safety reasons.
Other PPE such as hard hats, gloves, protective eye wear and hearing protection may be required, in these COVID times we strongly suggest you keep a track of your own PPE.