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5 Ways Ergonomics Can Improve Warehouse Safety

Apr 16, 2020 | Company News, Ergonomics

Every seven seconds, a worker is injured at the workplace in the United States alone. The cost of workplace injuries can be enormous, with companies paying an average of $150,000 per injury

It’s the reason companies around the country are investing more in warehouse safety. Business leaders realize that minimizing workplace injuries can help avert unnecessary expenses in medical bills, lawsuits, and compensation.

But the cost of workplace accidents is more than just financial. The fact is companies with frequent workplace accidents suffer significant reputation damages. Such companies usually have high staff turnover and have difficulty attracting top talent.

In today’s post, we give you a few proven warehouse safety tips.  We’ll pay special attention to ergonomics and tell you how it can help enhance safety in your workplace. We’ll also show you how paying attention to warehouse safety rules can help your business.

Keep reading to learn more.

Why Is Warehouse Safety a Concern for Companies?

In a typical warehouse, many objects are placed at heights that are difficult to reach unless one uses some type of equipment. Warehouse workers are thus often at risk of getting hit by falling objects. 

Often, workers need to reach and bend to get items, and this may lead to injuries as well. Improper handling of pallets, boxes, and other items could also cause strain and injury, especially on the workers’ backs.

Keep in mind that there are equipment and machinery in the warehouse that might also cause accidents and injuries. 

These are just some of the reasons leaders need to find ways to implement safety tips for warehouse workers to keep the chances of accidents at a minimum. Over the years, warehouse managers have increasingly turned to warehouse ergonomics to improve warehouse safety. Let’s take a closer look at how ergonomics works.

What Is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics refers to the study of how jobs are done in the workplace. The goal is to fit tasks and jobs to the worker instead of the worker forcing their bodies to fit the job.

Having a good grasp of your workplace operations can help you make changes to the workplace to suit your worker’s needs better and avoid work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). For instance, when you understand which goods in your workplace move the fastest, you can focus your ergonomic efforts around them to get the best results.

OSHA has a list of ergonomic standards and guidelines that every workhouse needs to adhere to keep employees safe. One of these guidelines is to use ergonomic material handling systems. Such systems help your team work in a neutral position, so they don’t strain their bodies and injure themselves.

How Does Ergonomics Boost Warehouse Safety?

Ergonomics aims at ensuring tasks are ideally suited to your workers, so there’s minimal muscle fatigue and possible injury.  This is accomplished through the following.

1. Proper Work Environment Design

Safety in the workplace starts with planning the workstation to make sure that the work environment is ideal for worker safety and comfort. Ideally, an employee’s workstation should be custom-designed for them. Where this isn’t possible, at least provide your employees with the resources they need to make their work area better for them. 

If there are elements in the workplace that are problematic, take action to change them right away. 

2. Training on Workplace Safety

Ergonomics also entails equipping your workers with the appropriate knowledge of proper workplace safety practices. Consider hiring an expert on ergonomics to give a presentation to your workers during their training on workplace safety. You could also have the expert work with your employees one on one for a while. 

3. Ergonomic Tools and Machines

Your workers use a variety of tools and equipment throughout the day while in the warehouse. It’s no wonder, therefore, that many accidents and injuries in the warehouse involve tools and machinery. 

Investing in the right kind of ergonomic equipment can help avert worker injuries. Below are some recommended tools and equipment you can invest in.

Backsaver Lifts 

Backsaver lifts have many uses, ranging from work positioning to pallet picking. The lifts have different capacities and can be customized to fit your needs. Lifts enhance worker safety when they’re involved in such tasks as lifting, stacking, assembling, and so on.

Tilters

A lot of back injuries happen while workers are reaching into deep places. This movement is natural and causes lots of strain. The best way to reduce the strain and avert injury is by using tilters.

Tilters position containers in such a way that the products inside are easy to access.

Workstations come with an option of tilted worksurfaces as well that help with bringing packages and other items to the correct position.

Tilted Pick Trays 

These trays allow your workers to have a better look at items high up in the pallet track. They can pick cases stored high above in the pallet tracks without having to scale beams or reach into the rack blindly.

4. Elimination of Falling Hazards

Injuries caused by falls are some of the commonest in warehouses around the country. Yet these accidents are some of the easiest to prevent. 

For those involved in overhead tasks, it’s best to use forklift work platforms. Invest in structural barrier rails to alert workers of hazardous ledges. It also helps to identify locations where falls are most likely to occur and take appropriate action before an accident occurs.

5. Taking Care of Clutter 

Clutter on floors and aisles is one of the top causes for slips and trips around the warehouse. Ensuring that you keep floors and tidy is an essential step in avoiding potential accidents.

BOSTONtec shipping and packing stations offer different accessories and options for the storage of tools, labels, and corrugate material. 

Ask your workers always to stack empty pallets and keep them in their rightful spaces away from the pathways. Be sure to dry any wet spots on the floor to avoid slipping.

Implement Ergonomics in Your Workplace to Enhance Safety

The importance of ergonomics in workplace safety is unquestionable. Using the right ergonomic equipment allows your employees to work in comfortable body positions that help avert injury. Ultimately, keeping work-related accidents at a minimum goes a long way in boosting productivity and improving your company’s bottom line.

Are you looking for ways to boost your warehouse safety measures? Contact us today and check out some of our ergonomic solutions.

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