Working in a warehouse can be a labor-intensive and physically demanding career. It can also be a dangerous one…if you aren’t careful. There are potential hazards everywhere you turn, from heavy equipment to slick flooring. So it should go without saying that Warehouse Safety is important. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 15,000 warehouse injuries and illnesses annually. The most common forms of warehouse injury include:
- “The primary injuries occurring in a warehouse stem from lifting, straining, and turning,” says Joel Anderson, president and CEO of the International Warehouse Logistics Association
- Slip, trip, and fall injuries.
- Injuries resulting from improper materials handling.
“Creating a safe work environment requires a good deal of effort, but it brings benefits to both workers and management,” says Gary Gagliardi, vice president of Safety Resources, a safety consulting firm located in Indianapolis.
Creating a Culture of Safety
“Companies need a culture of safety,” says Gagliardi.
While warehouse safety is practiced in the warehouse, it is learned and enforced from the top down.
“Warehouse managers are accountable for safety,” says Alex Sierra, health, safety, and environmental manager for Fluor Constructors. “They need to be aware of that, and lead by example. All company employees should feel that safety is their responsibility—that is part of building a safety culture.”
Warehouse operators should establish safety best practices, as well as provide worker training to enforce those practices. One way to ensure this is being done is to form a safety committee, comprised of warehouse workers, shift supervisors, and management. This approach also ensures that everyone has a voice in the process.
“Safety committees are a common practice,” says Bob Shaunnessey, executive director of the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC). “In most cases, when management supports the committee, workers are likely to gain a safe work environment.”
For smaller companies that cannot easily support a safety committee, Shaunnessey recommends regular warehouse safety meetings.
“Maintaining an efficient safety culture is a continuous effort,” says Gagliardi. “Safety is not a one-time deal; companies cannot accomplish a culture of safety with one or two yearly meetings. But emphasizing safety throughout the company has a positive influence on its success.”
Better Materials Handling Means Better Warehouse Safety
Another way to minimize warehouse accidents is to give your employees the tools they need to perform their jobs in the most efficient (and safe) way possible. This means better materials handling equipment. This means partnering with S.W. Betz. We have been providing businesses in Baltimore and beyond with all of their essential Weighing, Materials Handling, Dock, and Warehouse equipment since 1933.
If you want to learn more about Materials Handling or Warehouse Safety, please contact S.W. Betz by calling 410-574-1414 or 800-332-0322 today! You can count on the S.W. Betz Company to work with you and provide you with our extensive knowledge of the industry.