The warehousing industry is known for having a high injury rate; in fact, musculoskeletal injuries occur twice as frequently in the warehousing and storage industry than other industries in general. Musculoskeletal injuries are caused by poor ergonomics such as improper lifting, overexertion, repetitive motion, and awkward postures. Improving ergonomics in your operation will not only reduce the dollar amount of claims but it will also increase employee morale and production levels. The best way to reduce the occurrence of sprains and strains is through prevention. Here some warehouse management tips recommended by OSHA for reducing the number of sprains and strains in your operation.
- Use powered equipment instead of requiring a manual lift for heavy materials when possible).
- Reduce lifts from shoulder height and from floor height by repositioning shelves and bins.
- Ensure overhead lighting is adequate for the task at hand.
- Provide employees with task-oriented ergonomic training.
- Minimize the need for lifting in your facility by using good design and engineering techniques.
- Encourage workers to use their legs and keep their backs in a natural position while lifting.
- Test loads to be lifted to estimate its weight, size and bulk, and to determine the
proper lifting method.
- Remind workers to get help if the load exceeds the maximum weight a person can lift safely without
- Keep floors clean and free of slip and trip hazards.
Placing worker safety first by implementing good ergonomics is key to overall success in any operation. Consider the OSHA Outreach Training Program that provides training for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces.