~by Kara Masterson~
The fatal injury rate for those working in warehouses is higher than the average fatal injury rate across all industries. Because of the high rate of injury, it is the responsibility of employers to make sure that they do whatever possible to make their warehouses safe and to remain in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) regulations.
Train Your Employees Properly
Most of the injuries and fatalities that occur at warehouses are the result of employees not being properly trained. The improper use of forklifts is a common reason for an injury, so employees must be trained thoroughly on the proper use of a forklift. Employees must also be trained on the proper lockout and tagout procedures. Repetitive motion injuries are another common source of injury. Employees should be trained on proper work procedures that reduce the risk they might suffer from repetitive motion injuries.
Have Equipment Installed By Professionals
Make sure that equipment is installed by professionals. This can help ensure that all of your equipment is ready and safe for use. Rather than having equipment, such as an air compression system, installed by your own staff members, have the equipment installed by professionals. Look for a company that will not only install your air compression system, but will also perform regular maintenance.
Another common reason for OHSA violations is the extent to where personal protective equipment is used. To determine the appropriate personal protective equipment, it is essential to evaluate the warehouse for potential hazards. But the most commonly needed forms of protection include fall safety equipment and hardhats.
Have Adequate Fire Protection
Warehouses are filled with combustible objects, so adequate fire safety equipment must be present to protect workers and to also protect property within the warehouse. This includes having fire alarm systems in locations where they will be able to detect a fire regardless of where it occurs in a warehouse. This also means that the warehouse will need to be outfitted with fire suppressant systems, such as a sprinkler system.
The great thing about the OHSA is that they can give you peace of mind knowing whether you are meeting minimum standards necessary for keeping your employees safe. However, you will want to make sure that you are proactive in protecting your employees, both to avoid any fines and simply because it is the right thing to do.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.