If you work in a warehouse or storage facility, safety is of the utmost importance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in 20 full-time warehouse workers suffers a workplace-related injury each year. These incidents often include falls, lifting-related injuries, equipment accidents and repetitive stress.
Protect yourself with these four smart strategies for warehouse safety.
- Take care when lifting
If heavy boxes are part of your job, practice safe lifting techniques. Avoid bending at the waist, stretching and twisting when lifting a sizable object. If you tend to perform similar motions over and over, take frequent breaks to rest your body. Ask for information about ergonomic lifting techniques. If you cannot safely lift an item, ask a co-worker for help.
- Stay safe from falls
When you need to use a ladder, make sure it is stable and placed on a level surface before climbing. Only use a ladder that has a working locking device and never climb a ladder without the lock engaged. Do not lean, reach or lift when climbing a ladder. Always wear skid-resistant shoes at work.
- Wear personal protective equipment
The right PPE for the job shields you from potential hazards. Depending on the task, the appropriate gear may include work gloves, earplugs, steel-toed boots, fire-resistant garments, hard hats and safety goggles. When starting a new job, find out if the company provides the required gear or whether you need to purchase your own PPE.
- Report unsafe behavior
Dangerous actions in the workplace affect everyone on site. If you notice these hazards, report them to your manager and human resources department. If your employer does not comply with required safety standards, you can file a federal complaint online or by mail under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
If you suffer an injury or worsen an existing injury at work, you may receive workers’ compensation to cover the cost of your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. Report any injury to your employer right away and seek immediate medical attention.