The importance of safety at work is always on our minds here at Stamar Packaging. But, with June being National Safety Month, it’s a good time to reinforce safety practices and to ensure that all of our employees understand the hazards of operating and working around forklifts, since forklifts are in operation in our warehouses every day. For us, and for everyone, every month of the year is always a good time to review safety practices in order to avoid workplace injuries.
The National Safety Council’s Safety+Health magazine says forklift-related safety hazards are among the most common workplace safety hazards, and that the leading cause of forklift-related hazards in the workplace is “when workers feel compelled to work quickly.” The recent Safety+Health article quotes a workplace safety consultant as saying, “What dictates their [employees] activity is production. They’re all under pressure, and when you’re under pressure, they start taking shortcuts.” These shortcuts often result in injury. The report adds, “Shortcuts include driving with too large of a load or driving distracted. The end result may be hitting a rack, damaging a wall or product or even injuring a co-worker.”
Adding to the safety issues related to forklifts is a “lack of maintenance and daily checks of trucks, and failing to segregate vehicles from pedestrians.” The safety consultants recommend that wherever and whenever forklifts are in operation, operators should be properly training and the trucks should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re in proper working order. Employers also should create designated walkways for pedestrians.
A warehouse environment also creates other safety hazards. Employees need to stay alert and avoid distractions, especially when they’re around or operating machinery. Machines with moving parts represent another common workplace hazard. Warning labels on machinery need to be read, and directions should be followed. And, of course, employees operating machinery must be properly trained. Material handling issues also pop up in warehouses when safety practices are overlooked. A common material handling practice is stacking objects on high platforms and shelves. They can’t be stacked too high, and heavy loads must be stacked neatly to avoid a shifting load or cylindrical objects from rolling off the shelves.
At Stamar Packaging, we are committed to following safety practices every day of the year, protecting our employees the best way we can. A safe warehouse is an efficient warehouse, and as we provide packaging, shipping and industrial supplies to our customers, our employees’ safety is always top-of-mind – as it should be!