Warehouse pedestrian safety is a major concern for anyone who works in a warehouse setting. Equipment operators want to be able to focus on the task at hand without hurting anybody else. And pedestrians want to feel seen and safe when walking through these areas.
Warehouse pedestrian safety should be one of the top concerns for safety managers in the warehouse and logistics industries.
You might be surprised to learn that according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), warehouses are one of the most hazardous places of employment.
That’s because the fatal injury rate for the warehouse industry is higher than the national average for any other industry. Which means that when injuries happen in the warehouse… they are usually either very severe… or fatal.
But why is that? What is it about warehouses that can make them such a dangerous place to work?
One of the reasons why the fatal injury rate in warehouses is so high is because of the risks and hazards that workers are exposed to on a daily basis. Based on recent data from OSHA and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, some of the top hazards for warehouse pedestrians include:
Understanding how to overcome these risks and hazards will help you improve warehouse pedestrian safety.
Safety Tips for Forklift Operators
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Falls from a warehouse environment are common on stairways, mezzanines, loading docks, and ladders. These falls often result in serious or fatal injuries.
To help prevent these incidents, OSHA requires employers to ensure workers on a walking-working surface with an unprotected side or edge that is 4 feet or more above a lower level is protected from falling by one or more of the following:
You may also want to consider using loading dock safety gates or other self closing gates to control access to these areas.
Falling objects accounted for 20% of the major injuries and deaths reported in 2013. The data has been fairly consistent in recent years as well. Materials should always be handled and stored safely within the warehouse.
In order to help prevent falling material hazards, warehouse employees should:
OSHA recognizes the high risk environment that warehouse workers are exposed to each day. There are several regulations that have been put into place to help protect these workers from the risks and hazards mentioned above.
Separating and defining work areas and walkways has always been a challenge in warehouse settings. Providing adequate drop-off protection for interior loading docks has also been difficult. However, these are some of the main contributors to warehouse safety incidents.
One way that warehouse and safety managers can overcome these challenges is by installing impact barriers or guard rails to create separate walkways for pedestrians.
Barriers such as the Traffic Shield are designed to absorb the impact from forklifts and other mobile equipment. They offer a safe and effective way to reduce the accidents and injuries associated with forklifts and pedestrians in a warehouse setting.
Housekeeping is another challenge that most industrial workplaces face. However, it is especially important to ensure compliance with good housekeeping practices in a warehouse environment.
The OSHA standard goes on to state that “storage areas shall be kept free from accumulation of materials that constitute hazards from tripping, fire, explosion, or pest harborage.”
Traffic Shield can also be used to designate storage space and help keep your aisles and passageways clear.
Painted markings and floor tape can both fade over time. Especially if they are constantly being driven over by forklifts and other equipment. Make sure the markings for your warehouse aisles and passageways are clearly visible.
Warehouse managers are also encouraged to separate pedestrians from forklift traffic whenever possible. This can be done by providing:
In a busy warehouse setting, with heavy forklift traffic and the constant loading and unloading of materials… It can be easy for operators and pedestrians alike to get complacent and not pay attention to all the safety protocols.
Make sure you are offering regular training to your employees. That you are conducting workplace audits and pedestrian safety assessments as part of your routine. And be sure to implement best practices for warehouse pedestrian safety.
Kee Safety is here to help. We understand how chaotic and busy an industrial workplace can be. But when it comes to the safety of your workers, that should always be your number one priority.
Our dedicated team is ready to answer your questions and help you find the right solution for your workplace.
We’re a global leader in intelligent safety solutions, supplying innovative components and custom systems for railings, barriers, roof edge protection, fall prevention and safe access equipment.
Contact us today – we’ll help you assess and solve your warehouse hazards, once and for all.
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