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There is a basic level of risk involved in warehouse jobs. You’re often around heavy machinery, heavy boxes, and high shelves. Yet, as with most jobs, you can take steps that help protect you. Keep reading to discover some of the most common injuries and how to avoid them.

Joint and Back Injuries, Part 1

Two common warehouse injuries happen to your joints and back. Slipping and tripping account for an unusually high percentage of these injuries. Avoiding these injuries is mostly about remaining vigilant. Keep an eye on your surroundings. Look for trip hazards like improperly stored merchandise or tools. Watch for slip hazards, such as spilled liquids. If possible, and within company guidelines, wear slip-resistant footwear.

Joint and Back Injuries, Part 2

The other most common ways these injuries occur are from falls and improper lifting techniques. Falls and improper lifting techniques routinely happen when people ignore safety protocols. This typically happens because they’re in a hurry to finish or under pressure to work faster. Always follow the safety protocols set out by the company. If a supervisor or manager ever pushes you to ignore those protocols so you can work faster, report them immediately. They’re endangering your health, safety, and possibly even your life.

Forklift Injuries

Forklifts are an essential tool in any warehouse, but they’re also dangerous in the way that any vehicle is dangerous. A common reason for forklift-related injuries is that people get too comfortable with the machine. Drivers often overestimate their skill with the forklift and get complacent about safety. Workers on the floor get lax about safety because the forklifts are always there. Stay vigilant. Never assume the driver knows you’re there. If you’re driving, never assume people will move out of the way.

Falling Object Injuries

In a bid to maximize usable space, warehouses are often filled nearly to the ceiling. This creates an ideal situation for falling object injuries. As an employee, there isn’t much you can do about improperly stored boxes. The best option is to encourage others to store heavy merchandise on the lower shelves. You can also speak with your manager or supervisor about reviewing safety procedures with everyone periodically.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Much like office workers, warehouse workers perform the same motions over and over again. This can lead to repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Make a point to stretch regularly while you’re at work to relieve pressure in your back, joints, hands, and feet. This can help prevent those repetitive stress injuries. If you’ve noticed ongoing pain in your hands or joints, see a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you get diagnosed with a repetitive stress injury, the better.

You Need to Look Out for You

While coworkers and supervisors should look out for your safety, you need to take ownership of it. Be proactive about protecting yourself by staying vigilant, following protocols, and encouraging others to do the same. After all, it’s your health on the line.

Working in a warehouse that doesn’t emphasize safety? Let GPS help you find a job where safety is a priority.

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