A warehouse can be a dangerous place to be if safety procedures are ignored. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, warehousing tops the list of dangerous occupations. In fact, about 20,000 workers are injured in forklift accidents alone each year.
Besides the obvious physical and emotional impact, the cost of all those injuries add up. The average work-related injury leads to $38,000 in direct expenses and $150,000 in indirect costs. So, a single injury could cost your business a total of $188,000.
But, the more you and your employees are aware of common dangers, the less complacent everyone will be.
These 5 accidents are the most common, and all of them are avoidable:
- Accidents involving forklifts – Statistically, 11% of all forklifts will be involved in an accident. The total number of injuries caused by forklifts is 96,785 annually. 42% of these accidents result in a worker being crushed by the forklift, 25% are crushed between the vehicle and a surface, and 10% are pedestrians being struck by the vehicle.
- Tripping, slipping, and falling – There are many things that can cause a worker to slip, trip, or fall. In some serious cases, these injuries can result in broken bones and lost work time.
- Fire – Fires are not all too uncommon in a warehouse, and there are many ways to prevent warehouse fires.
- Exposure to hazardous substances – Many warehouses store hazardous substances; many accidents are caused by just wanting to do something quickly.
- Ignorance – Employees just didn’t have enough information on workplace safety — usually temporary, contract, or new employees.
How to avoid warehouse accidents
To prevent accidents, you need insight — both historical, and real-time digestible data. Your advanced telematics system can provide everything you need to know, from how your operators are behaving to safety checklists.
- 70% of all forklift accidents can be avoided with proper training and processes.
A telematic operator report card provides a quick view of operator performance and allows managers to identify areas where training may be needed.
- Daily safety inspection checklists help avoid accidents and fires.
Software systems can require checklists be completed. You can include questions pertaining to the following items to help avoid accidents and fires:
- Hydraulic fluid leaks
- Grease, oil, other fluid that could cause fire
- Are battery terminals covered
- Is load capacity plate visible
- Areas surrounding the forklift
- Implement short rest periods for those workers completing strenuous tasks.
Workers on short work/rest cycles have fewer job-related injuries then those who take long work breaks after long work schedules.
- Perform regular maintenance on forklifts.
A telematic maintenance report card allows a quick view of forklift maintenance and history KPI targets.
- Perform regular safety inspections.
Software can include a safety report card, which provides a holistic view of operator and maintenance KPI targets across a site, group of operators, or group of forklifts.
The warehousing industry often carries a higher risk of injuries and deaths than other enterprises, but proactive steps directed by real-time data can drastically improve safety and the workplace environment.