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Warehouse Health and Safety

There are many causes of warehouse accidents. The following will give you some idea of the areas to consider.

Vehicles

They are many kinds of vehicles operating in warehouses, such as pallet and forklift trucks.  All drivers should be trained in vehicle use, also warehouse safety procedures should be in place and followed. Where possible, pedestrians and vehicles should be segregated.   All vehicles should be serviced regularly.

Floors

Slips and trips cause many accidents. Floors should be kept dry and clear of obstacles like boxes and trailing wires. All spills should be cleaned up immediately and signage put in place until the floor is dry.  Consider using anti-slip flooring and make sure that all areas are well lit.

Equipment and Signage

Use warning signs where necessary, especially around dangerous machinery or toxic substances. Workers should be supplied with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where hazards cannot be fully removed.

Training

Workers should be trained in the use of equipment and manual handling.  All workers should be made aware of the safety procedures in place in the warehouse, which should also be covered in the induction procedures when new workers start.  Everyone should also be aware of all procedures in place in the event of a fire.

Handling Stock

All workers should be trained in manual handling and where possible loads should be moved by mechanical means. Consideration should be made to where products are stored e.g. heavy loads should be on the bottom of racks. Badly stored products end up falling and injuring people.

Racking

Racks should be competently fitted and fixed to prevent them from collapsing.  Protection should also be put in place where possible to prevent damage from moving vehicles. Racks should never be climbed on.

 

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How to investigate an accident or incident

Each year around 600 accidents or incidents lead to prosecution by the HSE, with about 100 more being prosecuted by local authorities. Personal injury claims are over double this number.

Some lead contractors operate a “3 strikes and you’re out” policy on their subcontractors regarding health & safety issues, so preventing future accidents could be vital to your business, not to mention the moral and legal issues. Read more

Do you know how to RIDDOR report?

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) reporting is a simple and straightforward procedure for any accident that needs to be reported to the HSE. The HSE have produced a guide on the RIDDOR Regulations, covering what needs to be reported, who should report the accident and how to go about it.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg453.pdf

Electricity – overhead power lines

The law says that any work near electric overhead power lines must be carefully planned and carried out to avoid danger from accidental contact or close proximity to the lines.

The precautions necessary will depend on the nature of the work at the site and will be required even when work near the line is of short duration.

Safety can be achieved by a combination of measures: Read more

RIDDOR

From 1st October 2013 the requirements to report accidents to the HSE under RIDDOR have changed. The main changes will be to simplify the reporting requirements in the following areas:

  • The classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers replaced with a shorter list of ‘specified injuries’
  • The existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease to be replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness
  • Fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrence’ will require reporting Read more