Warehouse employment is a mainstay of the Harrisburg area. A 2019 article by Penn Live Patriot-News reported that 96 warehouses have central Pennsylvania locations, including warehouses exceeding 500,000 square feet for Pepsi, Amazon, Home Depot, UPS and several other companies.
If you are among those employed by these facilities according to 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, review these injury prevention tips for warehouse workers.
Wear appropriate personal protective gear
Depending on your specific job, the right equipment likely includes leather gloves, ear protection, steel-toed work boots, fire-resistant garments, hard hats and eye protection. Before starting at a new job site, learn whether the company will supply your gear or if you must purchase your own protective equipment.
Keep workspaces clear
Debris and loose items can quickly become safety hazards. Spills and messes can lead to serious fall injuries. Before each shift and periodically as you work, clean up your area to remove these hazards.
Practice safe storage
When workers stack boxes incorrectly, these heavy loads can become unstable. Smaller stacks keep the space neat and significantly reduce the risk that boxes will fall and hurt someone.
You know you should not drive while using a smartphone, and the same goes for walking around the warehouse. When you are busy and concentrating on phone conversations, texts and emails as you walk, it increases the chance that you will trip or walk into the path of a colleague carrying a heavy load. If your location has guidelines about phone use in the workspace, follow those rules except in emergencies.
Seek sufficient training
Do not perform a task or use equipment unless you have the proper certification and education to do so. Ask for the training you need when your employer assigns a job outside your qualifications.
If you experience a workplace injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. These payments through your employer’s insurance plan can cover medical costs and lost wages associated with the incident.