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Avoiding injury in your warehouse job

Warehouse work can be exhausting. You may feel strain in your back, arms and legs at the end of a day, but this is normal for a job that requires physical effort. However, even that discomfort can be worth it if the paycheck is good and you get along well with your co-workers.

What is not acceptable is when carelessness or recklessness results in injuries that prevent you from working. You are well aware that a warehouse is a place of many potential dangers. Even though you and your co-workers may sometimes have a good time getting the work done, there are precautions you must take to avoid the most common injuries.

Keep your feet under you

You may not think that slipping or tripping would be a big deal, but such accidents can have serious results. In most cases, you may suffer a bruise or broken bone. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that about 15 percent of all accidental deaths are the results of tripping or slipping and falling. Understandably, falls from heights can be catastrophic, and if you stand on elevated reach lifts or walk on raised platforms, you must use extreme caution as well as protective equipment.

Ground level falls can also cause serious injury. Tripping on clutter in an aisle or slipping on a wet surface can lead to head injuries, spinal injuries or internal injuries that can be life-changing. You may also notice areas in your California warehouse where the lighting is inadequate, especially in stairways or storage areas where you may be more likely to suffer injuries in a fall. Bringing these conditions to the attention of your supervisor can prevent a serious accident.

Other ways to avoid danger

In addition to preventing falls, your caution on the job may help you and your co-workers avoid other injuries. In fact, OSHA reports that many injury-causing accidents in warehouses may be prevented with proper safety and protective equipment, for example:

  • Correct storage of products can reduce the chances of a pallet rack collapse.
  • Careful training and certification for everyone who operates a forklift can prevent fatal forklift accidents.
  • Regular maintenance of forklifts and machinery can help you avoid injury from inefficiently running equipment.
  • The establishment and practice of an effective hazardous materials plan may help you and your co-workers respond to spills with few, if any, injuries.
  • Proper storage and use of hazardous materials, the availability of appropriate personal protection gear, and access to current safety data sheets are other critical factors that can keep you safe.

Accidents happen. You can't plan for them. You may go to work as usual and leave the warehouse in the back of an ambulance. However, you can be prepared and do as much as possible to prevent accidents on the job, and you can seek assistance from every available resource for your medical, financial and legal issues if you do suffer injuries at work.

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