The rise of online retailers like Amazon, have boosted the need for warehouses and storage facilities (Business wire, 2017). Small organisations and retailers almost certainly have a small stock room used to keep products and company materials.
Safety factors should be a major priority to help avoid injuries suffered by employees within storage facilities or warehouses. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that “in 2009/10 the storage, warehousing and road haulage industries reported over 8,500 work related accidents”.
Some of the main accidents suffered by employees in warehouses or storage facilities are slips, trips, objects falling from a height and forklift accidents (HSE, 2007 a). In recent news, a budget retailer was fined £1m for chaotic and dangerous working conditions. Inspections by a health and safety officer discovered that their stock was stored carelessly and piled dangerously high. They also failed to provide proper training to staff members, especially young temporary workers that joined for the Christmas season. Meanwhile a national sportswear retailer was fined £60,000 after they failed to follow their own health and safety procedures. Overstocking within one of their stores resulted in aisles and fire exists being blocked.
Serious injuries suffered from a slip, trip or an object falling from a height could be fatal if the employee is working alone and immediate medical assistance wasn’t. Organisations should implement health & safety procedures and conduct risk assessments to avoid these easily avoidable accidents.
The HSE have released a comprehensive guide that covers all aspects of health & safety in warehousing and storage (HSE, 2007 b). We have compiled some of the key tips and advice from the guide and highlighted them below:
Stocking Goods safely
(Business wire, 2017) – Technavio | Business Wire. 2018. Growth in E-Commerce to Boost the Warehouse Racking Market: Technavio | Business Wire. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170912006586/en/Growth-E-Commerce-Boost-Warehouse-Racking-Market-Technavio. [Accessed 11 January 2018].
HSE, 2007 a – Health and Safety Executive. Warehousing and storage: Keep it safe INDG412. [PDF] Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg412.pdf. [Accessed 11 January 2018].
HSE, 2007 b – Health and Safety Executive. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety. (Second edition, published 2007). [PDF] Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg76.pdf . [Accessed 11 January 2018].
HSE, 2018 – Health and Safety Executive. Warehousing. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/logistics/warehousing.htm. [Accessed 11 January 2018].