Hidden Health Hazards in Your Warehouse

Hidden Health Hazards in Your Warehouse

Warehouse work may seem rather simple and straightforward at first glance. However, when you dive a bit deeper, you’ll find that such work is rather complex and that it requires a significant amount of focus and attention to detail. Warehouse employees are tasked with operating heavy machinery as well as several other taxing jobs. The nature of the job, therefore, can place employees at a significant health risk. This guide explores three of the most pressing health hazards in a warehouse that employees may encounter on a daily basis.

Heavy machinery

Perhaps the most significant health hazard in a warehouse is heavy machinery, which is a common cause of workplace injury in a warehouse. Regardless of the type of products a warehouse manufactures or ships, almost all warehouse employees will operate some form of machinery at some point. Even employees who have used the machinery on many occasions may experience trouble with a machine, which can lead to an injury. Employees should always receive thorough job training regarding all pieces of equipment during their initial onboarding process. They should also continue training throughout the entirety of their employment. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the machinery will also prevent workplace injury. Machinery that’s not in proper working order is more likely to injure the attending employee.

Harmful substances

Another common workplace hazard for warehouse employees is the shipping and handling of potentially hazardous items. This is particularly prevalent for warehouses in an industrial sector of business. Warehouses that store or manage the shipment of potentially harmful products must ensure they keep the items organized and clean to protect against injury. Hazardous items should be clearly labeled and kept in a secure location, and employees should receive adequate protective equipment.

Even employees in warehouses that don’t handle hazardous materials may still encounter harmful substances in their daily work. For example, asbestos is a common substance in many older warehouses. It can be quite harmful if inhaled, and it can cause serious injury to employees if not tended to. If you’re concerned that your warehouse contains asbestos, it’s best to temporarily close the facility and contact an asbestos abatement service immediately.

Unorganized warehouse

A disorganized warehouse may not seem like a pressing issue at first glance, but it can actually increase the chances of a workplace injury if not properly tended to. Inventory items that aren’t stored correctly can fall from shelves and injure any employees standing below. Disorganization can also increase the likelihood that an employee will slip or fall on the job. Inventory items should always be placed in their correct location and labeled clearly. This will not only prevent confusion, but also decrease the risk of injury among employees. The warehouse should also be tidied and cleaned at the end of every shift to further reduce the risk of accident or injury. 

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