In a recent article, we discussed the overall hazards forklift use in a warehouse poses and what you need to do to have a successful safety program in such a situation. However, let’s drill down a little further to see not only how we can protect our workers from forklift hazards, but also how to protect them from other hazards that exist in warehouse environments.
Sometimes you may have the luxury of working for a company that says, “Safety? Whatever you need, you get.” However, that is certainly not always the case. More often than not, you will need to work within a budget to meet your safety needs.
Forklifts, excavators, aerial lifts, dump trucks – many of us work around these machines on a daily basis, whether it be as an order picker in a warehouse, a flagger on a construction site, or an inspector. After a while, if we’re not careful, the equipment could begin to blend into the background.
With the number of transient workers that come through warehouses, the hustle and bustle of getting orders shipped out and deliveries onto the racks, and a variety of other concerns, having a strong forklift safety program is essential.
Toolbox talks, tailgate meetings, pre-work safety meetings – whatever you want to call them, these brief safety sessions can be a valuable opportunity.
Of all of the controls in the Hierarchy of Controls, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the one most people are familiar with. Why? Well, PPE is quick, easy, often less expensive than other options, and readily available.
In the first two articles on the Hierarchy of Controls, we discussed controls that were intended to mitigate hazards at their source either through elimination, substitution, or an engineering solution that made it so the employee was no longer exposed. With administrative controls, we take a little bit of a turn from that approach.
In the last article, we discussed the first level of control when it comes to protecting employees from recognized hazards: elimination or substitution. The concept, while possibly difficult to implement, was simple to understand. Unfortunately, this second step, engineering controls, is often more difficult in both concept and implementation.
For those unfamiliar with the hierarchy of controls, a tiered approach to solving problems might seem alien. Even for the initiated, some aspects of the hierarchy can be confusing. So, rather than just tell you what the hierarchy is at face value, let’s take a more in-depth look at each level.
Anybody that comes in even the briefest of contact with the world of occupational safety knows that fall protection is a hot topic. There are blogs, social media groups, and even entire companies dedicated to it. While some topics are treated as an elective within an OSHA 10 or 30-hour course, fall protection is one that is required and it’s for good reason.