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Tips on Warehouse Safety

Some of the main causes of accidents in warehousing are: slips and trips; manual handling operations; work at height; vehicles in and around the warehouse; and moving or falling objects.  The HSE gives advice on how to try and reduce the danger posed by these risks.

Slips and Trips

  • Try to avoid any spills on the floor, and when there is a spillage make sure it is dealt with quickly.
  • Apply the correct matting or flooring to increase the traction on the ground
  • Provide footwear that can reduce the likelihood of a slip (as a last resort)
  • Make sure pathways are clear by planning workflows and maintaining traffic routes
  • Provide good lighting

Manual Handling

  • Avoid any risky manual handling when reasonably practicable
  • Introduce mechanical aids in manual handling operations
  • Provide information on heavy or unwieldy loads
  • Provide suitable training in safe manual handling techniques and use of any manual handling equipment

Work at Height

  • Avoid work at height when reasonably practicable
  • Properly plan, supervise and provide training for all work at height
  • Use the right equipment for work at height
  • Only use ladder and stepladders when necessary and the task is low risk and short duration
  • Do not use fork-lift trucks for accessing work at height
  • Do not climb on racking unless it is designed for this purpose
  • Regularly inspect all equipment used for work at height

Vehicles In and Around the Warehouse

  • Manage deliveries through communication on health and safety between exchanging companies (provide any visiting drivers with relevant information)
  • Ensure pedestrian safety by separation of vehicle and pedestrian traffic routes (where not possible take other control measures)
  • Minimise the need for reversing, sharp bends and blind corners
  • Carry out any required maintenance of traffic routes
  • Ensure safe systems of work when loading and unloading vehicles
  • Make sure all loads are secure before vehicles are moved

Moving or Falling Objects

  • If there is a risk of a falling object in a specific area – make sure this is clearly indicated and that people do not enter this area
  • Make sure all mechanical handling equipment is suitable for the job it is being used for
  • Regularly inspect and maintain (as per manufacturer’s recommendations) all mechanical handling equipment
  • Inspect and maintain all pallets or containers
  • Ensure all pallets are correctly and securely loaded
  • Ensure all storage systems are properly designed, installed and used
  • Protect racking systems if likely to be struck by vehicles or equipment
  • Carry out regular rack inspections (these should include regular visual inspections by relevant staff as well as ‘expert’ inspections carried out at intervals by a competent person – this could be a SEMA approved rack inspector)
  • Make sure the recommendations of any rack inspector are carried out as soon as possible