The news of the high injury rates in Amazon’s warehouses in these last few months have been quite alarming. Employees report that the company prioritizes speed and output over the safety of its employees.
Thankfully, this is not a reality in all Wisconsin warehouses. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that fatalities in the warehouse industry are only second to the construction industry, with 874 fatalities reported in 2018.
That is why warehouse workers must take great care to stay safe on the job. Here are some critical tips for workers to increase their safety.
Always wear the proper protective gear
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide workers with personal protective equipment. This includes:
- Earplugs; and
- Safety glasses.
As a warehouse worker, you should ensure that you wear protective equipment at all times to reduce your chance of injury in many situations, including slips and falls or even chemical exposure.
Be mindful when lifting
Handling heavy materials might be a normal part of your job every day. However, some of the most common warehouse injuries relate to the improper lifting or handling of materials. You should take great care to:
- Avoid twisting when lifting;
- Handle materials ergonomically;
- Lift with your legs, not your back; and
- Take regular breaks to rest.
All of these tips can help you avoid painful muscle strains and overexertion injuries.
Practice safety when operating forklifts
Forklift operators usually receive specific, customized training. However, even with this training, you must use caution every time you operate a forklift. Safety + Health Magazine advises all workers to:
- Inspect the forklift regularly to ensure it is in good working condition;
- Review the rules for load stability and weight; and
- Be careful turning corners and drive slowly.
Putting your safety first every day while on the job is critical to prevent life-changing injuries.