4 Ways to Avoid the Most Common Warehouse Incidents

Employees working in a warehouse are exposed to a number of strenuous activities that can threaten their well-being. According to OHSA, the number of forklift-related accidents reaches close to 100,000 per year (100 fatal accidents, 34,900 serious injury accidents, and 61,800 non-serious accidents). As a result, those who handle heavy material handling equipment such as forklifts need to take special precautions to ensure that the materials they transport are properly handled. Here are four most common warehouse incidents you can easily avoid to prevent injuries and increase workplace productivity.

Slips & Trips
The warehouse is a place with lots of stuff. Its narrow aisles, tall stacks of goods, and poor lighting are the exact ingredients that can compromise visibility. Slipping and tripping over materials or spilled liquid are common accidents that can be avoided if the warehouse maintains adequate lighting and equips dark corners with special lights that can be easily switched on and off. Remove unnecessary steps or ridges and encourage employees to never leave any cargo, box, and goods unattended on the floor.

If a warehouse worker needs to temporarily leave the floor, it is important for him or her to move materials away from the center of the aisle while keeping lights on. In cases when something is spilled, employees should take the proper steps to close the area with visible signs and clean up as soon as possible.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FALL PROTECTION

It’s not the fall that hurts – it’s the sudden stop.

I read the preceding statement while performing a simulated OSHA inspection. Most fall-related injuries result from the lack of fall protection. Additional injuries occur from improper use of fall protection – utilizing a body belt instead of a full body harness, improper use of lanyards, or utilizing an inadequate anchorage point. Falls from heights of 10 feet or greater almost always result in serious injury or death. It is important to note, however, that serious injuries and fatalities also commonly occur from fall heights of ten feet or less.

After retiring as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Henry Shelton fell approximately 10 feet from a metal ladder while trimming an oak tree outside his house. Attending physicians were doubtful that Shelton would ever walk again. It’s ironic that a former paratrooper who made 400 jumps without incident, some from 20,000 feet at night, was nearly paralyzed from a fall off a ladder!

OSHA lists falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death, accounting for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma. An OSHA study involving 99 fall-related fatalities suggests that virtually all of those deaths could have been prevented by the use of guardrails, body harnesses, safety nets, covers, or other means which would have reduced employee exposure to the fall hazard.

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Harness Safety Includes Proper Selection, Fit and Use

Fall protection is the leading liability risk in the Occupational Health and Safety Industry. Since everything from harness construction to harness components can be compared and contrasted, selecting the proper harness to protect your workers can be a confusing process. To help you make an informed decision, here are some tips from safety directors and product managers on questions to ask before you invest in equipment.

Harness Selection

How Safe Is a Full-Body Harness?

Surprisingly, some brands of harnesses do not meet basic safety standards. Before purchasing fall protection products, request written proof from the manufacturers for the following items:

 

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How To Put On A Fall Protection Harness The Right Way

In the construction industry, working at heights is a standard part of the job. But with increased height also comes an increased risk of falling.

Consequently, falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, taking the lives of more than 359 construction workers in 2014. Personal fall arrest systems – body harnesses, lanyards, and connectors – are one method of protecting workers from injury and death by falls.

Fall arrest systems aren’t foolproof, however. Faulty or misused fall harnesses can be just as dangerous as no fall protection at all. But knowing what to look for when inspecting a fall arrest system, and how to properly strap on a harness, can save your life. Here are steps for inspecting and putting on fall arrest harnesses so that you stay safe while working at heights. Continue reading “How To Put On A Fall Protection Harness The Right Way”

Fall Protection FAQs: Five Things You’ve Been Meaning to Ask

No matter what industry you work in, the importance of workplace safety has likely been drilled into your head since day one. You must use the proper equipment, receive the right training, and always follow safety protocols. Making safe decisions has probably become instinctive, built into your everyday routine. However, every job site has its own unique challenges and requirements, which can leave even the most experienced workers feeling unsure of what is required. Below are five common questions that Capital Safety’s expert team hears from workers at height across the country. Continue reading “Fall Protection FAQs: Five Things You’ve Been Meaning to Ask”

Fall Safety in the Manufacturing Industry

Within the past decade, fall prevention violations are No. 1 on OSHA’s list of most-violated construction standards, and they often result in tragic outcomes for workers and cost businesses a substantial amount of money and damage to their reputations.

It is fair to say that the indoor industrial work environment – including factories, warehouses and manufacturing plants – also can harbor fall hazards. Such settings create numerous opportunities for tripping, slipping and falling, thanks to greasy floors, damaged steps, clutter and uneven walking surfaces. Continue reading “Fall Safety in the Manufacturing Industry”

Why Don’t People Wear Fall Protection?

There are many reasons why people should wear fall protection, yet countless workers still avoid wearing fall safety equipment. These same workers will blame the employer or the equipment and always look for every reason or excuse for not wearing it. Continue reading “Why Don’t People Wear Fall Protection?”