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Common warehouse hazards

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If you work in a warehouse, you are well aware that it is a physically demanding and dangerous job at times. Handling harmful equipment, working long shifts and performing strenuous tasks can easily cause you to suffer a workplace injury. You are at risk of developing a condition over time due to repetitive stress or sustaining an acute injury due to a sudden accident. 

The first step to being a safe warehouse worker is identifying hazards so you can avoid them. Watch out for these main causes of warehouse accidents.

Lifting and handling

Warehouse work requires you to lift, carry, push and pull heavy things. These tasks can result in musculoskeletal complications, especially if you perform them with repetitive motions, overexertion or improper posture. If you need to lift or move something too heavy for you, ask a co-worker for assistance. Be mindful of using safe ergonomic postures when carrying loads. 

Forklifts

Warehouses and storage facilities need forklifts to function. Unfortunately, these vehicles can injure operators, workers and property. Anyone who operates a forklift at her or his job must have the property training and competency to do so safely. If you are a forklift operator, be sure to inspect each vehicle for damage before using it.

Material storage

You may store materials in the warehouse by stacking them or putting them on shelves. High stacks of materials may result in falling objects. If you store materials on the floor, you may experience a slip and trip accident. Keep passageways and aisles clear, and stack heavy loads on lower shelves. 

Conveyors

If your storage facility utilizes conveyors to transport items, you must be cautious when working near them. Your clothes, hair or body parts may get stuck in the machinery. Make sure the conveyors receive the proper maintenance and repairs to keep them in proper working condition. There should be safeguarding equipment to protect you from unsafe contact with conveyors. 

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