The industrial or warehouse industry is a business sector that does more than store products. In many cases, production occurs inside warehouses. As you can imagine, many complex, high-powered machines play a part in storage and production.
The setting of the job and the intensity of the labor mean that workplace accidents are prone to happen. Workplace accidents disrupt production and can put many people at risk. Ergonomic industrial assessments or warehouse risk assessments or can help identify potential dangers and present solutions.
It identifies hazardous equipment and can also assess environmental factors that put the business at risk. Here are some reasons why ergonomics assessments or risk assessments are an essential tool for the warehouse industry.
Evaluating industrial warehouse safety risks helps keep employees safe and ensures that they practice safety. Without a risk assessment, life-threatening accidents can happen. Risk assessments evaluate potential threats and allows management to develop a response plan to prevent accidents from happening.
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“Prolonged standing can lead to muscle soreness in the
back, legs, and neck. It can also lead to edema or swelling of the legs and
If you have a job where you or your employees must be on their feet all
day, there could be room for injuries to occur.
While most of us have heard the risks and potentially negative
side effects of sitting all day, prolonged standing can also lead to some
significant discomfort and even injuries. However, there are things you or your
employees can do to prevent any issues.
Be aware of workplace injuries from prolonged standing.
If your job requires you to stand while working, be aware
that prolonged standing can lead to muscle soreness in the back, legs, and
neck. It can also lead to edema or swelling of the legs and feet. As you stand
all day (without much movement) your body’s blood flow is somewhat inhibited.
Prolonged standing can even lead to painful varicose veins.
Thankfully, the following strategies can help you avoid these injuries and
1. Learn how to adjust your workstation with ergonomics
One of the best things you can do to make prolonged standing
bearable at the workplace is to improve your workstation. For example, there
are various heights for tables, benches, and desks that are recommended for
certain types of work:
Precision work should be done at elbow height.
Heavy work should be done below the waist.
Light work should be done at or near the waist.
Adjustable tables can serve to prevent lower back injuries,
neck strains, and so on. It’s also important to ensure your employees have
plenty of room to move around, stretch, etc. Consider hiring an ergonomics consultant to perform a
workstation evaluation to determine best practices.
2. Use proper footwear.
The shoes you wear if your work involves prolonged standing
are incredibly important. You need adequate support for your arches and plenty
of padding all the way around the shoe.
You also need to make sure that your shoes don’t change the
shape of your foot. Your shoes need to fit your foot shape but have plenty of
room for the natural swelling of your feet throughout the day.
Consider investing in a standing mat as well.
3. Use proper body movement at work.
One of the best ways to prevent injuries for you and your
employees who experience prolonged standing during the day is by holding a
training course to improve their ergonomics.
How you lift, crouch, twist, and turn can all lead to
potential injuries, especially if they’re done while bearing weight. A simple
training course that reinforces safe movement can go a long way towards a
safer, more comfortable workplace.
We strongly recommend contact an ergonomics
company to establish proper training for your staff.
4. Take breaks and move around.
With any job, employees should always take at least two
15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch to rest their body and mind. To make the
most of your breaks, read our blog on: active
While you may be stuck standing at work, be sure to move
around and get your blood moving. When
you walk around, your blood circulates through your muscles and benefits your
You don’t need to do exercises at your desk (though here is
a list of some you can do if you wish), but get
into the habit of moving around to counter being stuck standing at work all
In conclusion, knowing how to protect yourself or your
employees from workplace injuries due to prolonged standing is important.
These are some basic tips for employees that must stand
while working. However, there’s a lot more to cover, as every workplace is
different. Consider contacting the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. to evaluate
your workstation. It may even be possible to incorporate sitting once an
ergonomics assessment is performed.
Check out the rest of our ergonomics blog for more advice about safety and comfort in the
we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive
workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an
ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.
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It is important to be mindful of your surroundings when you work in an industrial plant or warehouse. According to the 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 1 in 4 accidents in the warehousing and storage industry occur when employees fall, trip, or slip.
A few common reasons workers may fall, slip, or trip in the workplace are:
Accumulations of dust or powder on floor
Uneven walking surfaces
Electrical cords and hoses positioned across walkways
Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
Damaged or irregular steps with no handrails
Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
Open desk or file cabinet drawers
Damaged ladder steps
Ramps with no skid-resistant surfaces
3 Quick Tips to Avoid Slips and Falls in the Warehouse
Establish good housekeeping habitsEmployees should be encouraged to keep their area clean and free of clutter. It may help to assign cleaning as a daily task for specific employees to ensure that cleaning becomes a daily routine.Keeping the plant clean and organized will not only prevent injury, but it will also help keep the work efficient.
Organize your surroundings
Be mindful of any equipment that requires wires or hoses to be in a walkway, this equipment should be covered with protectors to prevent tripping.All walkways and docks over four feet should have railing. And be sure to keep all areas well lit – if it is difficult to see, then it is more likely for a worker not to see potential hazards in their way.
Reduce slippery or wet surfaces outside of the floor
While cleaning the warehouse floor seems like a given, it is important to control other indoor and outdoor surfaces. For example, wet or rainy weather from outside can be tracked inside, therefore it is important to keep parking lots and sidewalks clean.Provide moisture-absorbent mats and display “Wet Floor” signs as needed. Don’t forget about kitchen areas, be sure to use proper area rugs or mats.
Stay vigilant when it comes to avoiding slip and fall injuries in the warehouse. Don’t hesitate to consult with an ergonomics expert to assess your warehouse to keep your employee’s workplace safe.
SolutionsNW.com provides work place and ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., an ergonomics assessment provider located in Seattle, Kent, Renton, Tacoma, Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.
The summer months can be difficult for some workers and it’s important to remain aware of heat-related dangers in the workplace. Please share the following tips and general information to help raise awareness of heat-related illness in the workplace this summer.
What is Heat-Related Illness? There are three types of heat-related illnesses:
Heat cramps can occur due to loss of large amounts of salt and water through exertion. Remember to consume plenty of fluids and electrolytes when working in heat.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body “loses large amounts of water and salt through excessive sweating, particularly through hard physical labor or exercise. This loss of essential fluids can disturb circulation and interfere with brain function. Individuals who have heart, lung, or kidney problems or are on low-sodium diets may be particularly susceptible to heat exhaustion.” as described by WebMD.
Heat stroke is a serious illness that occurs when the “body suffers from long, intense exposure to heat and loses its ability to cool itself. In prolonged, extreme heat, the part of the brain that normally regulates body temperature malfunctions. There is a decreases in the body’s ability to sweat and, therefore, cool down. Those who have certain medical conditions that decrease the body’s ability to sweat — such as scleroderma or cystic fibrosis — may be at greater risk of developing heat stroke.” as described by WebMD.
The most common signs and symptoms of heat related illness include:
Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
Muscle or abdominal cramps
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
5 Quick Tips to avoid Heat-Related Illness from the Red Cross:
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
Avoid extreme temperature changes.
If possible, wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
Review OSHA’s “Water. Rest. Shade.” campaign:
Employers must protect workers from known safety workplace hazards, including extreme heat. OSHA suggests employers provide a heat illness prevention program. The following suggestions are directly from OSHA’s “Water. Rest. Shade.” campaign:
1. Provide workers with water, rest and shade.
2. Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
3. Plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention.
4. Monitor workers for signs of illness
Hopefully this information provides a general idea of heat safety in the work place. Be sure to share these tips with your co-workers or employees. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for more information.
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