This is a hand forklift in action in a brewery.

Warehouses can be incredibly dangerous working environments. Not only are there several injuries sustained in warehouses, but there are also fatalities. Most warehouse accidents are related to the machinery being misused, or from employers trying to carry out tasks without the use of proper equipment. This can be avoided by implementing the correct training and for managers or foremen properly monitoring and managing employees’ use of machinery and methods of working. One of the many ways injury can be avoided is through use of a hand forklift. To learn more about this device and other warehouse safety measures, continue reading this article.

What is a Hand Forklift?

For those new to this industry, it is important first of all that you know what a hand forklift is and what it is used for. The purpose of this device is to manoeuver pallets or small, lighter loads within warehouses. They are used optimally for narrow pallet racking or in tight, restricted storerooms while managing large loads and reaching tall lift heights. It is very important for warehouses to have at least one hand forklift on-site so that employees have the option to use it if their load is too heavy, or they are trying to stack it in a high, out of reach location.

An example of a bright orange hand forklift.

Injury Prevention

One of the most common work-related injuries is neck and/or back strain. This is a common occurrence in various types of employees, from office workers to warehouse workers. Injury to the neck or back can be extremely painful and completely debilitating if not treated properly and measures not taken to ease the further strain. Naturally, this type of injury could be detrimental to a warehouse worker’s career as a returning back injury could mean they need to avoid lifting on a regular basis. Warehouse work is dominated by lifting and loading, so good physical health will be advantageous to any warehouse worker.

Training and Behaviour

So, once you have installed all of your necessary machinery and equipment, you must make sure that every one of your staff members knows how to properly use them. This means that on the introduction of any new piece of equipment there must be a team demonstration and opportunity to try with supervision and ask questions. There should also be an annual health and safety day where all employees are reminded of procedures and demonstrations carried out on all equipment. Also, when a new member of staff joins the team, they must also have their own demonstration.

Another example of a hadn forklift that might be used in a warehouse.

Additional Tips

Even if you follow the aforementioned procedures, such as install a hand forklift and other machines and provide consistent and thorough training, accidents could still happen. Therefore, it is just as important to have policies in place should there be an injury. You could display health and safety posters with hints and tips on how to use equipment, how to lift correctly and what to do in the case of an emergency. You must also have a clear procedure for your employees to log any accidents.