Nobody goes to work expecting to suffer an injury. We all have a basic human right to feel safe and protected when we turn up to our jobs, but there’s no denying that some areas of employment carry a greater risk of getting hurt.
If you’re in a manual labour job, for example in a warehouse, it’s fair to assume that your chances of sustaining an injury are higher than someone whose day-to-day role involves mainly sitting at a desk. In fact, the Health and Safety Executive reports that rates of workplace injuries are “statistically significantly higher” in the agriculture, construction and manufacturing industries.
But what are the most common types of warehouse injuries, and what can we do to prevent them?
What are the most common types of injuries?
Of the 693,000 non-fatal injuries sustained by workers in Great Britain in 2019-20, 29% were as a result of slip, trip or fall on the same level. Handling, lifting or carrying accounted for a further 19%, while the next three highest causes were being struck by a moving object (11%), acts of violence (9%) and falls from a height (8%).
How can injuries be avoided?
Identify the high-risk areas
Armed with this information, warehouse managers can see where accidents and injuries are most likely to occur. By identifying the higher-risk areas, they can put extra safety measures in place to protect all employees and prevent them from coming to any harm.
Put on regular training sessions
All staff should undertake courses to increase their understanding of the risks involved when working in a warehouse, how to spot them and what should be done about them. This education will also help to foster a culture of accountability, where employees are encouraged to point out potential problems before they can cause any harm.
Provide adequate PPE
Warehouses should partner with PPE suppliers who can offer the appropriate equipment to keep all workers safe. This should include high-visibility clothing, hard hats, gloves, ear protectors, steel-capped boots, masks and eyewear.
Ensure enough staff are on site
Managers should always know how many staff they need on site at any one time to ensure all tasks can be carried out effectively and safely. Especially where there is heavy lifting involved, having insufficient employees on shift could mean one individual taking on too much and causing themselves an injury.
Review safety protocols
Any health and safety guidelines should be assessed and reviewed on a regular basis. This way, warehouse managers will ensure that the measures they have in place remain fit for purpose and are still doing as much as possible to prevent any injuries.