Warehousing is a massive industry. These businesses use huge facilities with specific features and equipment to help workers perform their duties. However, their tasks could expose them to varying safety and health risks. Safety standards could minimize hazards but cannot completely remove these threats.
Warehouse workers receive strict safety-related training to prevent accidents in the workplace. However, according to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, they remain at risk. Its data show that 32% of warehouse inspections were due to incidents resulting in severe injuries, illnesses or fatalities.
The following are the common causes of warehouse injuries:
- Handling materials: Includes overexertion and repetitive motions, causing musculoskeletal injuries
- Too much heat: Warehouse facilities could have hot temperatures dangerous to workers’ health
- Using equipment: Mishandling industrial-grade forklifts, robotics and other equipment in warehouses could easily injure someone
- Hazardous substances: Warehouses could contain toxic chemicals and corrosive substances that could be dangerous to workers
- Slips and falls: Workers in warehouses are constantly moving, posing the risks of falls due to slippery surfaces, uneven walkways or obstructions
- Falling objects: Improperly stacked pallets and objects on high shelves could fall, easily injuring people below
Local government agencies constantly monitor the warehousing industry. Doing so could help them improve standardized industry practices and implement them.
Maintaining safety requires a collaborative effort
Warehouse workers might be responsible for following workplace regulations, but it takes more than that. Employers play a crucial role in maintaining their facilities. Specific methods also involve employer collaboration, allowing them to keep each other accountable for potential safety risks. It is also up to them to supply enough safety equipment to their employees and keep up with permit requirements.
Additionally, the local government could be the overseer for employers. They could also contribute by monitoring their compliance and enforcing evolving warehousing policies. Through these collaborative efforts, the warehousing industry could reduce safety and health risks, potentially saving workers’ lives.