A warehouse can be dangerous due to equipment failure or misuse, the potential for dangerous inventory, and possible vehicle collisions. These are just a few of the safety risks to expect in a warehouse, but they are some of the most common hazards to watch out for when working on the floor. Always know what to expect, how to handle your tools, and what to do in the event of a worst-case scenario.
Statistically, fire is one of the most common threats to warehouses, whether the cause is intentional arson, electrical issues, or unattended space heaters. The smallest spark can cause an ignition that goes unnoticed for too long, potentially setting the entire facility ablaze.
How To Prevent Fire Events
While you can’t prepare for every eventuality, you can take some steps beforehand to mitigate the damage. These include ensuring adequate flue space within racks and routinely testing your fire suppressant system to guarantee it doesn’t malfunction when you need it most. A well-thought-out fire escape plan needs to be in place, and every employee needs training on where to go and what to do if you must evacuate the facility.
Pallet Rack Issues
Racks facilitate inventory storage, but they also pose their own litany of problems if employees are inattentive. Structural security is always a concern, from how you construct your racks to the stress you place on them. You must build racking systems according to the manufacturer’s design, not substituting any parts for cheaper or unfit components. There are many reasons for rack collapses, and familiarizing yourself with them can help you avoid many unsafe situations.
How To Prevent Rack Problems
Besides building racks according to manufacturer specifications, you need to adhere to the limits of each shelf. They can only take so much weight, and exceeding that limit will cause complications. Always post the limits for each shelf and emphasize that ignoring those warnings will lead to dangerous situations.
Forklifts are the most common vehicles you’ll use in the warehouse. Unfortunately, improper operation of warehouse vehicles can lead to significant damage to the facility and severe worker injuries. Making sharp turns around racks or attempting to back up without knowing what’s behind you can lead to disaster. Collisions with pallet rack support structures are one common cause of their collapse, along with the other reasons previously mentioned.
How To Prevent Vehicle Damage
Only allow trained operators to use vehicles, and increase visibility throughout congested pathways and tight intersections. Improving visibility can mean installing better lighting or mirrors for drivers to see around corners and behind them.
Know What You’re Getting Into
Never accept a task without knowing the dangers involved and the skills you’ll need. Going into a situation without the proper training can put you and others at risk. Know what safety risks to expect in a warehouse and identify what you need to do to reduce the chances of life-threatening injuries.