Warehouse jobs can be physically demanding. They can also present a few hazards while you’re on the job, such as forklifts, falling objects, and electrical shock, to name a few. To avoid injuries in a warehouse job, you’ll want to pay attention to safety training, follow the rules, and learn all you can about safety measures. No one can afford to get injured—the time it takes to get treatment and heal can be extensive for some injuries, and the financial and emotional cost can be significant, too.
To avoid costly, time-consuming injuries, we put together a few tips for staying safe in a warehouse job.
- Follow Safety Rules and Emergency Procedures. Safety training will provide some of the most valuable information you can get to prevent getting hurt on the job. Pay attention to your trainers and the safety rules and emergency procedures. You never know what might happen in a warehouse or with unpredictable Iowa weather. Make sure you know the location of the storm shelter, fire extinguishers and other safety equipment. If an emergency does occur, you can deal with it more effectively by being calm and in control because you’re fully informed.
- Wear Protective Gear. Hardhats, boots, gloves, safety goggles and vests can all protect you against injuries. Consider comfortable, steel-toed boots for heavy warehouse work. With all the time you will spend on your feet, you need to take care of them. If your employer suggests additional personal protective equipment, such as a dust mask, use it. There is probably a good reason for it!
- Know How to Lift. Most warehouse associates need to have some lifting ability, and everyone should know how to lift a box properly. Legs should bend—not your back—as you lower down and rise up to lift the box. Ask your manager or safety coordinator to review safe ways to perform your duties. Remember to take regular breaks to rest and stretch, which will have a positive effect on your physical and mental state.
- Keep the Floor Clean. Slip and fall injuries can vary from minor bruises to herniated discs in your back. Keeping the warehouse floor clean and clear of any debris, cords, hoses, spills and clutter will go a long way to keeping a warehouse workplace safe. Even a scrap of cardboard or tracked-in sand or snow can be an issue. Tripping hazards such as out-of-place boxes or equipment should also be remedied as soon as possible.
- Watch Out for Hazards. Forklifts, falling boxes, puddles and more can be major hazards to warehouse workers. Be aware of your surroundings. Stay within marked walking areas. Keep an eye out for spots where ice may have melted or other liquids may have spilled on the floor. Report hazards up the management chain per your employer’s procedures.
- Stay Hydrated and Healthy. Getting enough water and sleep will help you keep up with the hard work and fast pace of the warehouse. It’s no fun to get dehydrated, which can affect your performance and cause other health issues. Be sure to drink water on your breaks. In addition, fatigue can be a safety hazard, causing you to make mistakes, which could be dangerous. Get a good night’s rest so you can perform your best every day, eat well, and relax on your work breaks so you can stay alert.
- Report Dangerous Situations. If you see someone doing something unsafe, say something. If you’re not comfortable pointing out an unsafe activity to a fellow associate, report it to your supervisor. By doing so, you could prevent an injury, which could save a lot of pain and suffering.
Warehouse work can be fast paced and somewhat strenuous, but it doesn’t have to expose you to major risks. When you remain alert, take care of yourself and your surroundings and follow safety guidelines, you can feel good knowing you helped contribute to a safe warehouse environment.
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