Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

6 Avoidable Warehouse Accidents that May Happen in Your Facility

Posted by Neil O'Connell, SVP Technology, Innovation, & Product Development on Jun 7, 2018 4:00:00 AM

There are injuries and accidents that commonly occur in a warehouse work environment. But about 70% of these accidents are avoidable with proper preventative measures.

Your warehouse could be ripe for an accident - one you could avoid with the right preventative action. If you want to reduce impacts and injuries, use proactive measures to address these 6 common issues. sign-1732791_1280

6 avoidable warehouse accidents

1.  Inherent forklift risk

Mishaps commonly occur when operators drive recklessly or ignore safety measures. Statistically, 11% of all forklifts will be involved in an accident. Loading dock injuries are the most common. For example, workers being pinned between a forklift and a dock due due to risky operator behaviors or driver complacency.

The solution: Ongoing training reminds everyone of risks. Predictive analytics and telematic insight targets routinely poor operator behavior like speeding or failing safety checks.

2.  Impacts due to poorly placed pallets or inventory loads

Inventory placement on a pallet or a lift-truck and improper storage can cause accidents to occur. And poorly routed traffic can lead to accidents and costly injuries. Keep in mind some rows or areas may be prone to more accidents due to visual limitations or turns/corners.

The solution: Advance location and telematic geofencing create configured “stop” zones to limit access to certain vehicles that won’t fit into product aisles.

3.  Pedestrian injuries from forklifts or slip-and-fall incidents

There are many things that can cause a worker to slip, trip, or fall.

  • Poor driver behavior (e.g. speeding) can play a role in injuries to pedestrians.
  • Workers may forget where floors can become slippery due to spills or environmental conditions.

The solution: Caution signs should be visible, and guard railings, anti-slip tape on steps and ledges, and safety mats should be present. Telematic operator report cards determine training and/or disciplinary needs for risky driver behavior in pedestrian zones.

4.  Racking mishaps

Even a properly stationed pallet does not guarantee that product will not fall from the shelves. Forklift collisions can trigger racking mishaps and are common unless drivers are well trained in maneuvering in aisles situated between pallet racks.

The solution: Train employees about the pallet racking systems’ limits to avoid overloading them. Ensure operators are well trained and certified.

5.  Traffic accidents

Poor routing can lead to forklift accidents and injuries. Some rows or areas may be prone to more accidents due to visual limitations or turns/corners.

The solution: Telematic advanced location can determine where, when, and why events are happening so traffic can be re-routed and inventory repositioned.

6.  Complacency, ignorance & risky behavior

Complacency is always a risk factor in a warehouse environment. Approximately 42% of forklift fatalities result from the operator being crushed by a tipping vehicle. Many of these are the result of not using the seatbelt, even though this safety measure is required by OSHA. The more you and your employees are reminded and aware of common dangers, the less complacent everyone will be.

Creating a safe warehouse does not happen by accident. Proactive measures — supported by an advanced telematics platform — help reduce risks that lead to the most common accidents and costly mishaps.

Topics: proactive warehouse management, forklift impacts, operator behavior, root cause, operator report card, lockout/tagout function, accident reporting

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