An improperly installed racking system or a poorly stored dangerous substance are common examples of improper storage management that can lead to injuries and untimely deaths. Thankfully, most of these accidents can be easily prevented through proper storage methods.
Here are the most common causes of storage-related warehouse accidents and the ways to avoid them:
1. Poor rack installation
Improper installation of pallet racks, longspan racking systems, and other storage options can lead to disastrous consequences. Aside from endangering the safety of your workers, improperly installed racks can damage thousands of dollars worth of goods when they collapse.
To avoid your storage system from collapsing, ensure that they are correctly assembled and installed.
2. Improper stacking
When goods are improperly stacked, the chances of the whole stack or rack toppling over is dramatically increased. Of course, this can lead to devastating injuries and even death, depending on the weight of the load collapsing.
The best way workers can protect themselves from falling objects is by stacking items properly every time. Thus, it is the responsibility of the warehouse management to train and retrain workers on proper stacking, including correct positioning and even weight distribution on each level of the racks. Heavier items should be placed on the lower and middle shelves, while lighter items should be placed on top. At the same time, goods should be removed from the shelf one by one to prevent accidental drops.
3. Poor storage system maintenance
Storage systems go through a lot of wear and tear. Even just bearing the weight of goods reduces their strength over time. Moreover, the occasional bumps made by heavy machinery can further wear out the metal, making it weaker and weaker by the day. And when storage systems are compromised, the safety of goods and workers are also affected.
Since equipment damage cannot be avoided 100%, the next best thing to avoid storage systems from collapsing due to damage is through proper maintenance. Thus, warehouse managers must have their storage systems inspected periodically so any necessary repairs can be done immediately.
4. Improper repair
As mentioned earlier, damaged storage systems must be repaired to ensure the safety of workers and the items stored on them. However, simply reinforcing the shelf or rack with, say, a piece of metal does not count as repair, nor does improvising. Instead of making temporary repairs to keep operations going, the warehouse must call in for a professional repair service to fix damaged storage systems.
5. Storing goods in inappropriate areas
Using inappropriate areas for temporary storage can cause a multitude of accidents, such as tripping, slipping, and falling. Moreover, having goods in places where they shouldn’t be can be a bottleneck for workflow and a major fire hazard (if it’s blocking the exits). To avoid these dangers, avoid storing goods in inappropriate places, even if it’s just temporary.
These are just some but by far the most common storage-related warehouse hazards that may be present in the workplace. By avoiding these hazards, you can prevent accidents, injuries, deaths, along with the claims and lawsuits that can come after.