Warehouse safety is one of the biggest concerns warehouse managers and their employees face. This worry stems from warehouse industry workers sustaining many injuries and fatalities, with an average of 19 fatalities per year (2015-2018). These statistics can be brought down significantly if warehouse safety is prioritized.

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In this article, we will discuss the most common workplace injuries that workers can face, safety tips to prevent injuries in the warehouse, and first-aid tips in case of an injury.

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    Common Workplace Injuries

    The first step to boosting warehouse safety is understanding common workplace injuries and what’s causing them. The following are the most common causes of these injuries:

    Heavy Equipment Accidents

    Heavy warehouse equipment such as forklifts and heavy pallets are the leading cause of injuries and sometimes even fatalities in the warehouse. Workers risk being hit or run over by forklifts, falling between the trailer and the lift, or falling from an elevated platform. These accidents usually occur due to a crowded warehouse, inadequate forklift safety training, or just by chance. To prevent such accidents, storage facilities need to have proper safety protocols for using forklifts and other heavy equipment.

    Warehouse Equipment - Heavy Equipment Accidents

    Slips, Trips, and Falls

    The majority of injuries in the warehouse involve slips, trips, and falls. The cause of such incidents can be slippery or uneven floors and the accumulation of debris, residue, grease, or cords in walking areas.

    Exposure to Chemicals

    Many warehouses store hazardous chemicals or use them for production purposes. Accidental spills, sadly, cannot be prevented from happening. These chemical leaks and spills can be a threat to the safety of warehouse employees.

    Being Hit by Falling Objects

    There is always a massive risk of stacked items falling from the shelves at any point. These types of injuries are caused by incompetent operations setup and human error.

    Machine Entanglement

    The most severe injury that can happen in a warehouse is machine entanglement. This type of injury occurs when employees get entangled with dangerous and large equipment while working.

    Warehouse Equipment - Machine Entanglement

    10 Warehouse Safety Tips

    Warehouses must implement a safety plan, but safety doesn’t end with implementation. It’s also paramount that the safety procedures are executed well.

    This section covers some tips to prevent the aforementioned injuries:

    1. Ensure Safety Equipment is Always Used

    To prevent major back injuries, it is vital to use safety equipment such as forklifts or hydraulic lifts to raise bulky products.

    2. Eliminate Potential Safety Hazards

    It is important to ensure floors are free of slip and trip hazards. It is also vital that the staff understands the importance of good housekeeping. Regular checks should be performed on any stray cords, liquids, accumulated debris, cracks, and pits on the floor. These can cause severe injuries to employees and damage valuable machinery and cargo.

    3. Identify and Mark Hazardous Zones Clearly

    Signs and stickers are the most cost-effective and functional way of keeping your warehouse organized and safe from hazardous situations. Labeling racks, equipment, and materials can help workers prevent serious injuries. Also, emergency exits and their safest routes must be clearly marked.

    Warehouse Equipment - Hazardous Zones

    4. Provide Proper Training and Courses

    Adequate training for warehouse safety processes can ensure staff know the consequences of an unsafe workplace and encourage them to follow procedures more closely.

    5. Proper Clothing Should be Worn

    Loose-fitting clothes should be avoided as they can get caught in the machinery or pallets, leading to injuries. Also, wearing protective clothing, including hard hats, gloves, vests, masks, and eyewear, is another valuable tip to ensure the safety of the workers in the warehouse.

    6. Promote Awareness

    Promoting awareness about potential safety hazards and alerting colleagues of passing machinery, such as forklifts, can drastically reduce accidents. This can be achieved through constant communication among employees.

    7. Shelving Safety

    It is essential to assess how much weight a rack can endure and how the materials should be stacked to achieve effective distribution. This prevents workers from getting injured by falling objects.

    8. Vehicle Safety

    Whether you work with forklifts or lift trucks, vehicle safety is essential to preventing crush injuries. This can be done by ensuring workers are provided proper practical training about maintaining speed limits, avoiding reversing whenever possible and being aware of blind spots. It’s also important to enforce a zero-tolerance policy about reckless driving.

    9. Carry Out Fire Safety Drills

    Fire and smoke alarms should be tested regularly. Drills help you check whether these alarms work and create and update a safe evacuation and emergency plan. Installing emergency lights can go a long way in ensuring staff safely evacuate.

    10. Ventilate

    Good ventilation is crucial to a safe warehouse, but employers usually overlook it. Limited air circulation can lead to stagnation of fumes and vehicle exhaust in the warehouse, hindering employee comfort and safety. Putting in exhaust fans and alarms for carbon monoxide can help optimize warehouse environmental conditions and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Design air circulation to eliminate indoor contaminants and facilitate air movement for improved humidity and temperature control within the facility.

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    Proper First Aid in Case of an Emergency

    No number of warehouse safety tips can completely eliminate the possibility of injuries. Hence, performing the right first aid is essential when an incident occurs. Every employee should undergo first aid training since it can save someone’s life.

    First Aid Kit Requirements

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the following items for a first-aid kit:

    • Adhesive bandage and tape
    • Medical gloves
    • Antibiotic application
    • Roller bandage (2 and 4 inches)
    • Antiseptic
    • Scissors
    • Burn dressing
    • Splint
    • Cold pack
    • Sterile/Trauma pads
    • Eye/Skin wash
    • Tourniquet
    • First aid guide
    • Triangular bandage
    • Hand sanitizer

    Basic First-Aid Procedures

    The following tips are based on the procedures recommended by the American Heart Association and American Red Cross:

    Cardiac Arrest:

    1. Have someone call 911 or a local medical alert system.
    2. Start chest compressions immediately. Compress hard and fast at the center of the chest while allowing recoil in between.
    3. Use chest compressions and rescue breathing if trained.
    4. An automated external defibrillator (AED) must be used between compressions.

    Warehouse Equipment - First Aid

    Crush Injuries:

    1. Call 911 or a local medical alert system.
    2. Stop bleeding by applying direct pressure.
    3. Use a wet cloth to cover the affected area and raise it above the heart level.
    4. If the injury is affecting the head, neck, or spine, immobilize those areas if possible and limit movement of the crushed area.


    1. Call 911 or a local medical alert system.
    2. Do not try to straighten it.
    3. Stabilize the affected area using a splint and padding.
    4. Put a cold pack on the injury (avoid direct ice on the skin).
    5. Elevate the extremity.
    6. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen should be provided.

    Warehouse Equipment - Fracture


    1. If the wound is deep, have someone call 911 or the local medical alert system.
    2. Use gauze or cloth to cover the wound and apply direct pressure.
    3. Don’t remove the cloth until the bleeding stops.
    4. Add more layers if need be.
    5. Visit the emergency room (ER) in case of a deep wound.


    1. Depending on the severity of the burn, have someone call 911.
    2. Meanwhile, flush the burnt area with running cool water for several minutes to soothe and cleanse the burn.
    3. Apply a light gauze bandage.
    4. Don’t apply ointments to the burn.
    5. Take painkillers, if necessary.
    6. Do not break any formed blisters.


    Working in a warehouse without proper safety measures and procedures can be dangerous. The right safety measures can significantly reduce these incidents. Basic knowledge about common workplace injuries in warehouses, how to prevent them, and first-aid procedures in case of an injury helps. Warehouse operators should prioritize safety by implementing proper training programs, regularly inspecting equipment and facilities, and adhering to relevant regulations and standards. By taking these steps, we can mitigate the risks of unsafe warehousing and ensure the safety of employees.

    Besides putting correct safety measures in place, you can also implement solutions that can improve warehouse safety and efficiency. Visit our solutions finder tool to know more.

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