As it important as it is to protect your inventory, it’s more important to protect your employees.
Unfortunately, employee injuries are commonplace in the material handling industry. Even when all safety procedures are followed, accidents can happen. But with the right knowledge, those accidents can be reduced significantly.
One way of avoiding accidents is simply knowing what ones are most likely to happen. According to the Department of Labor & Industries, there are 7 types of injuries that make up for 95% claims costs for employee related accidents.
Seven Most Common Work Injuries
1. Caught in/ under/ between
With heavy loads being moved around by big equipment, it’s very easy to get between a “rock and a hard place” so to speak. From pallets falling on a foot to bodies getting wedged between a forklift and a shelf, these injuries are no joke.
Always be mindful of your surrounds and clearance.
2. Falls of Elevation
Whether you’re standing on ladders, shelves, or loading dock ramps, all it takes is one misstep to go tumbling off. Always show extra caution when you’re on an elevated service. If you find yourself falling, try to protect yourself. For tips on falling safely, check here.
3. Fall at Same Level
You don’t have to be high up for a fall to injure you. Just by tripping over an object or uneven ground can send you tumbling. Once again, the “safe falling” tips above may help you out.
4. Being Struck
With material handling, you’re often dealing with objects heavier than yourself. Being struck by one of these objects is not pleasant. Always show caution. Don’t grab objects where they’re not supposed to be grabbed.
Loud noises also fall into this category (sound striking the ear drums). If you work around extreme noise, shield your ears.
5. Motor Vehicle Accidents
Loading trucks and forklifts are dangerous machines in the wrong hands. Trucks often don’t have great visibility, and with the noise their engine creates, it can be difficult to hear what’s going on around you.
As for forklifts, well, they’re pretty top heavy. For more on forklift safety, check here.
6. Lower Body Pain
Unless you’re in the forklift, you’re probably on your feet all day. All the walking and lifting can take its toll on your knees, ankles, and feet. A good pair of shoes (and maybe even insoles) goes a long ways in helping with this.
If you’re on your knees frequently, you might want to invest in some knee pads as well.
7. Upper Body Pain
Over 75% of people experience back pain at some point in their life. When you narrow that down to people who are constantly lifting and carrying objects, the percentages goes even higher.
When lifting, ALWAYS lift with your legs. It’s something that everyone has heard, but people continue to ignore it. Don’t ignore it. Be careful when lifting. Have your feet planted. Keep your center of gravity.
And you’ll be alright.
In the future, we plan to go deeper into proper lifting and handling as well as what to do if you are experiencing back pains.
At Murray Material Handling, we believe that by doing things the right way, many (if not most) injuries and accidents can be avoided. Please be mindful of these common injuries and stay safe!