When you work in a warehouse, you are constantly surrounded by countless distractions that could lead to an accidental injury or fatality. Warehouse safety must be the top priority when designing a warehouse and training employees. That is why Gem Dock & Doors has compiled a few best practices to guarantee employee safety.
Importance of Warehouse Safety
In 2019, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that the injury rate is 4.8 per 100 full-time warehouse workers. The majority of these injuries came from cases of employees slipping and falling, improper lifting and handling techniques, and forklift accidents.
Liberty Mutual found in a 2019 study that these non-fatal injuries cost the warehousing and transportation industry $84.04 million per week. By investing in simple safety measures, you can save your company money that would, typically, be lost to employee injuries.
A Few Tips to Ensure Employee Safety
- Keep Docks Dry and Clear
Injuries related to slipping or falling are some of the most common for warehouse workers. Keeping the floors clear of debris and dry at all times will eliminate the possibility of an accident occurring. Beyond imparting the importance of keeping a clean workplace to your employees, installing and maintaining a high-quality dock seal can assist in keeping the floors dry. When dock doors aren’t properly sealed, cracks allow rain or snow to penetrate and melt on floors surrounding the landing space. Temperature differences between the interior and exterior can also cause condensation to form and create a slipping hazard. By selecting the right seal or shelter, you can mitigate the possibility of accidents occurring.
- Install “See Through” High Speed Doors
The American Supply Association has reported that 25% of all industrial accidents happen at the loading dock, a multitude of which are associated with forklifts. This report also shows that for every accident there are about 600 near misses. By installing a door with a clear panel to see through, employers can diminish the risk of collisions between forklifts or workers. As an extra precaution, lights can be installed on doors that will light up to indicate there is an object on the other side and alert employees to a potential collision.
- Equip Dock Bumpers to Maintain Structural Integrity
When trucks back into the loading dock and contact a wall, over time, the repeated impact can cause the structural integrity of the loading dock to decay. Eventually, the damage could become great enough to be a safety hazard for employees and result in costly repairs. Dock bumpers absorb the trucks’ impact and preserve the long-term stability of your loading dock.
- Prevent Back Over Incidents
According to OSHA, semi/tractor trailers are the second leading cause of back-over deaths in the U.S. Workers in the warehouse yard are continually surrounded by ambient noise that can cover the sound of an approaching truck until it’s too late. To prevent accidents, yard workers should be trained to know where trucks’ blind spots are to avoid standing in them and drivers should be trained to use a spotter to help them back up, and ensure no one is in the surrounding area. Technology, like proximity detection sensors and back up cameras, can be used to alert drivers if someone is behind them as well.
- Install Bollard Systems
Safety bollards, or dock barricades, are barriers placed on either side of the dock opening to prevent trucks from hitting the sides of the building. Bollards also provide extra markers to help drivers gauge the width of the dock opening, and can act as a safety barrier between the truck and yard workers. Bollards, with the addition of guard rails and dock locks, are a great way to establish a safe environment for your employees.
- Use Data to Diminish Risk
Living in the digital age, we have data for everything. The best thing you can do is make use of it! By paying attention to the data surrounding accident statistics and insurance claims within the warehousing industry, you can use your knowledge to build better safety strategies and keep track of changes in your own company’s data.
How Gem Dock & Door Can Help Make Your Workplace Safer
Gem Dock & Door’s trade is in making sure your warehouse has the quality facilities to ensure your employees’ safety. We supply commercial doors, accessories to improve door efficiency, and an assortment of loading dock safety equipment.
We can do installations, maintenance, repairs, and we offer a 24/7 emergency service. When you work with Gem Dock & Door, at any given moment help is only a phone call away. Contact us now to request an estimate or schedule a service.