On average a worker is injured every 7 seconds in the workplace in the US. This means there are about 7 million work-related injuries every year and 99 million days of lost productivity per year. A common cause for this is workers forcing their bodies to do jobs that they are not fit for. Ergonomics is the study of how jobs are done in the workplace, it ensures tasks are suited to the worker instead of the latter. There are many ways Ergonomics does this, but it is mainly through the following 5 ways:
Proper Work Environment
The first place to start when preventing warehouse injuries is the work environment. Provide your employees with the resources they need to create a comfortable and safe workplace. Ideally, the workstation should be customized to the employee and the work that they are doing. Remove any elements that may be dangerous or hazardous and check in with your employees to gauge how they feel in the work environment. It will also help to have a strategic layout in the warehouse and organize similar things near each other. Also, keep in mind the weight and size of items when organizing them.
Training on Workplace Safety
The next step is providing your employees with as much knowledge as possible about how to protect themselves at work. A large part of Ergonomics is equipping your workers with the appropriate knowledge of proper workplace safety practices. Presentations, workshops, and tutorials by Ergonomics experts are great ways to teach employees proper safety procedures. They should also receive thorough training on using all machines and tools in the workplace. It is important to repeat the training every once in a while to keep the knowledge fresh in employee’s minds. It will ensure they do not adopt any bad habits and are always up to date on proper handling procedures. You want to build a culture of safety and awareness in your warehouse.
Ergonomic Tools and Machines
Odds are that your employees are required to use a variety of tools and machines in the warehouse. Your workers might not be familiar with your specific machines when they first start working and will need to be properly trained. It is vital to make sure you are providing proper Ergonomic equipment. It should be up to date on safety measures to prevent as many injuries as possible. When lifting, stacking, and assembling; backstage lifts enhance worker safety. Tilters can help prevent back injuries as well by positioning containers in a way that products are easy to access. It is very common for workers to injure themselves by reaching deep into a pallet rack to pick a case. Tilted pick trays help workers reach and view items high up on a pallet truck.
Using Ergonomics to Eliminate Falling Hazards
Although falling is one of the easiest things to prevent, it is also one of the most common causes of warehouse injuries. Forklift platforms and structural barrier rails are two of the most common ways of preventing falling. If you suspect there is a spot in your warehouse where a fall is probable, make sure to warn employees and then see what you can change to prevent a fall.
Organizing and clearing any clutter off the floors will prevent injuries resulting in slipping and tripping. Three easy ways to avoid trips and slips is to provide clear walkways, get rid of any obstacles, and dry wet spots immediately. Decluttering will ensure there is a nice flow in the movement of your warehouse. Locking the wheels on anything on wheels will prevent them from sliding into a walkway. You also don’t want any objects sticking out haphazardly off their shelf or blocking an aisle.