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24 Oct 2017

5 Tips for Avoiding Warehouse Accidents

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Avoiding warehouse accidents is one of the most crucial aspects of working in a warehouse. Common accidents in warehouses are preventable with proper maintenance and safety procedures. What can you be doing to ensure you are using safe warehouse practices as an employer?

#1: Make Safety Part of the Workplace Culture

Employees will take their cues from superiors about what they should prioritize. If you only talk about the bottom line, your employees could feel pressured to make some unsafe decisions in order to help the company profit.

woman in a warehouse with safety clothing

Make sure safety clothing is worn at all times

The best thing you can do is stress the importance of everyone’s safety. Make sure your employees are trained, have safe equipment, and have someone who can address any safety concerns that may arise. Address any warehouse safety hazards in a timely manner to prevent work-related injury.

Warehouse Injury Statistics

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records warehouse injury statistics. According to OSHA, 5 out of every 100 full-time warehousing and storage workers had a recorded injury in 2015. Over 3 out 5 injuries resulted in days away from work. How can you work to get your company below the national average?

#2: Train Employees to Lift Safely

A frequent work-related injury in warehouses is back strain from improper lifting. While employees are still in training, review the proper ways to lift heavy objects.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Common accidents in warehouses include slips, trips, and falls. Workers can slip and fall if there are spills on the warehouse floor. Workers are also more likely to slip if they are walking on two different surfaces. Some floors are naturally slick, while others can be more dangerous if they have recently been waxed.

#3: Check Your Floors

Slips, trips, and falls can also be caused by slopes and changes in walkways, poor lighting, and unsecured mats or stray cables in walkways. Check your workplace for any loose flooring or uneven surfaces that could be hazardous.

This safety step is especially important when the weather is changing. If there has been a recent rainstorm or snowfall in your area, make sure all workers are not tracking water in on their shoes. This can help prevent slips. Mark any newly mopped or waxed areas to alert workers of a slippery surface.

#4: Wear Proper Shoes and Protective Gear at All Times

If protective gear is required for any duties an employee may have, ensure the employee is wearing the protective gear before starting a task. Protective gear cannot work if worn improperly. Untied shoelaces and compromised gear can do more harm than good.

#5: Clear the Workspace of Any Obstacles

This is good safety advice for workplaces in all industries. If you leave something out on the floor, you have put your fellow co-workers in danger of having an accident. If you know someone is driving a forklift in your area of the warehouse, make sure they will have a clear path through your area and a safe route to reach the pallets they may need to move.

Forklift Safety

man unloading a truck with a forklift

Forklift safety should be a priority in any warehouse

Forklift accidents can happen to both novices and experts, so forklift safety should be reviewed with all employees operating this machinery. This type of warehouse accident can be caused by a problem with the forklift, the person operating the forklift, or the workplace environment.

You can prevent forklift accidents by tackling problems in all three of these areas. Check any vehicles like forklifts for any faults before starting the workday. Make sure all employees who operate forklifts or similar machinery have proper and up-to-date training. Complacency is a big factor in workplace accidents. All employees should be vigilant while operating a forklift, whether it is the first time or the thousandth time. Inspect the environment in the warehouse for safety hazards. If you work on improving safety and training, you may also see an increase in productivity and effectiveness of your team.

Reno Forklift, Inc.

At Reno Forklift, forklift safety is our priority. Our 20 trained specialists can be dispatched to service forklifts in the field or in our shop. We offer complete forklift cleaning and repair to keep your fleet running safely and efficiently.

Our preventative maintenance program maintains your fleet with basic services and periodic inspections. If you need a replacement forklift, we carry the top brands of forklifts. If you need a single part replaced, we use the Promatch® parts program to get you quality replacement forklift parts.

Contact us to rent forklifts and learn more about avoiding warehouse accidents.

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It starts with a little annoyance. Then the blinking, headaches, and dry eyes creep in. We’ve heard it before – take a screen break, rest your eyes. But did you know that ignoring these suggestions could be affecting your team’s productivity at work?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that nearly 80 percent of us report at least one visual disturbance at work each day and over half of us actually have to rest our eyes due to the discomfort or pain.

August is National Eye Exam Month and a good time for a reminder that eye strain at work lowers productivity. Poor eyesight and other vision problems can cost you.

Here’s how vision problems may affect your work performance and team productivity:

Computer Vision Syndrome

How vision problems may affect your work performance

Eye problems can lower productivity at work

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) happens from staring at a screen too long without taking a break. You can treat it by using a set of eye exercises each day (Try these) and taking regular screen breaks. You may think that taking regular screen breaks are what cause the drop in productivity for your team. It’s quite the opposite. Taking a break every 20 minutes to look away from the screen allows your eyes to rest and relax the strain put on them by office work. If you’re using the restroom or prowling the break room for water or a snack, you’re also relaxing the neck which means you’ll be avoiding the aches and pains that often come from sitting too long. When we sit and stare for too long, we end up having to take longer breaks or eventually days off work. This is far more damaging to productivity as you can’t contribute if you’re not there.

Headaches

Headaches related to vision can be a product of CVS, eye strain, or simply not having the right eyewear. Millions of Americans have changes in their vision but don’t take the time to get their annual eye exam. Wearing the wrong lenses causes the eyes to work harder and lead to strain. You may also not be seeing things as clearly as you should. This can cause headaches. What happens if you can’t see clearly? You might be missing something in meetings.

Ergonomic Issues

Many of us wear bifocals or have the wrong prescription all together. This means we make adjustments like leaning closer to the screen. You may tilt your head up and down to see the words right too. These adjustments can cause us ergonomic issues that lead to neck and head pain or even joint pain. This pain causes a loss in productivity as we then spend more time stopping to stretch, re-position, or rub those sore muscles. Many organizations have an ergonomics consultant that can assess the work space and make recommendations. Recommendations that could increase productivity.

You Think About It All the Time

The headaches. The neck pain. The fuzzy vision after staring at the computer screen all day. You think about these things so often that you’re costing valuable work time. You’re not mentally present. When you’re not thinking about them, you’re physically trying to adjust to avoid them, again wasting valuable productivity time. Encouraging employees to get a routine eye exam can be a great start to stomping out this cause for discomfort.

Glaring Issues

eye strain at work lowers productivity

Glare from a computer screen can cause problems

Glare on the computer screen can compound any of the other potential vision issues we’ve already discussed. If your team members are constantly battling the sun, poor lighting, or improper monitor settings, it could be affecting their productivity. This comes with a simple fix. Assess the work space. Come up with cost effective solutions like blinds, stick on screen glare protectors, or even a simple (and free!) adjustment of the brightness/contrast settings on the computer’s monitor. Sometimes it’s not the most costly solution that saves time and money, it’s the simple one that wins. Removing these barriers for your employees sets them up to spend less time fidgeting with workplace conditions and more time getting their tasks done.

So what does it all mean? August is National Eye Exam Month, right? Go ahead and take a minute right now (yes, we’ll wait) and call your eye doctor for an exam appointment. Making sure vision loss, eye strain, or other interferences aren’t bogging you and your team down is an important and worthwhile contribution you can make today. Do it for yourself and your work.

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