Warehouse and Loading Safety Tips: The Right Equipment

The world of material handling and storage can be dangerous.

Maybe it’s not quite up there with the folks you see on Ice Truckers or Axe-Men, but make no mistake, warehouses, loading bays, and freight trucks can all bring serious injury.

That’s why it’s important to be safe while working with material goods.  Fully loaded pallets can be very heavy.  If loaded or stacked improperly, they can be prone to tipping over.  If you’re loading from an elevated area to the ground, that greatly increases the amount of injury that can be caused.

Safety is no joke.  There are many stories of people being serious injured and even killed while unloading inventory, operating forklifts, securing shipments on trucks, and the list goes on.

This is Part 1 in a series of post.  Come back for more tips in the future.

Tip #1:  Have (and Use) the Right Equipment

Who knows how many accidents and injuries are caused each year by people trying to use something for a purpose it was never intended to be used for.

I knew a guy who cut the end of his thumb off because he tried to open a champagne bottle with a knife.  Why would he do that when there was a proper bottle opener next to him?  He was probably just trying to show off.

In that same mindset, it can be tempting to skip out on the proper equipment in a loading area.  You say to yourself “That pallet isn’t that heavy.  I can just slide it along the floor by myself.”  People try to use their arms and legs instead of a pallet jack.

They try to use a manual pallet jack when they should use a powered jack or a forklift.

This is foolish.  Use the right equipment to move cargo.  And make sure you’re moving it across level ground.

Trucks and loading bays are not all designed at the exact same height.  If you’re unloading a truck and it’s a few inches higher than the loading bay, don’t attempt to ramp the cargo off the truck and into the loading area.

Use a dock leveler.  If you don’t have dock levelers, get a dock board or dock ramp (depending on how heavy the load is).  It may seem like more work.  It might even feel less “manly”.

But ultimately, it’s the right way to do it, and doing things the right way projects the inventory, the equipment, and most importantly, yourself and others.

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