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Material Handling Worker Safety involves various tasks in handling and storing materials, including hoisting tons of steel with a crane, driving a truck full of everything from frozen food to concrete blocks, carrying bags or goods by hand, stacking palletized items, or using other tools like drums, timber or dangerous flammable materials.
Industry requires effective and efficient material handling and storage. These processes guarantee that resources are always available when necessary and offer a continual flow of components and assemblies through the workplace. Unfortunately, damaging injuries are frequently caused by the careless handling and storage of goods.
What information should your workers have before
physically handling, moving and storing materials?
Applying general safety concepts, such as appropriate work practices, equipment, and controls, can help decrease workplace accidents involving the transporting, handling and storing of items. This is in addition to training and education. Your staff should be aware of any potential risks that come with an operation at hand, whether moving goods physically or mechanically. They should also know how to oversee their workspaces to reduce risk.
Workers should be mindful of mishaps that may arise from the dangerous or incorrect handling of equipment as well as from improper work practices. Many injuries happen from improper handling and storing of items. Workers should be able to identify the strategies for preventing – or at the very least, minimizing – the incidence of such mishaps. In order to identify any unsafe situations, procedures or equipment at work, employers and employees should conduct regular inspections of their tools and work environments.
What possible risks exist for workers?
Workers usually blame a large portion of their injuries on the weight and bulk of the items they lift. For instance, about 420,000 workplace accidents in 1999 were back injuries. The typical types of movement that resulted in back problems were bending, followed by twisting and turning.
Other risks include equipment of different kinds, falling objects, and incorrectly stacked materials. Your staff should become aware of the following potential injuries that can result from manual material movement:
- Strains and sprains caused by lifting and carrying loads that are either too heavy or too large or simply lifting loads incorrectly
- Fractures or bruising brought on by being hit by objects or getting stuck in small spaces/pinch points
- Cuts and bruises brought on by carelessly stored objects that can shift and fall, or by improperly cutting ties or other securing mechanisms
What safety measures should workers follow while handling materials manually?
Workers should fasten handles or holders to loads when manually transporting them. Workers should also always utilize safe lifting procedures and wear the right personal protection equipment. The following assistance should be sought by workers to avoid injuries caused by large loads:
- When a cargo is so heavy, workers struggle to lift or hold it
- When workers are unable to see through, around or over a load
- When workers are unable to carry a load securely
When moving goods manually, the following personal protective equipment helps avoid accidents:
- Gloves or other hand and arm protection for loads with sharp or rough edges
- Eye security and protection
- Safety boots or shoes with steel toes
- Metatarsal bone guards made of metal, fiber, or plastic to shield the instep region from impact or compression
What safety measures should workers use when mechanically moving materials?
Employee injuries are increased when goods are moved and stored by mechanical means. Both manual handling safety issues and safe equipment operation procedures must be top-of-mind with all workers.
When moving materials mechanically, workers should make sure that the type of equipment they employ is appropriate for the weight, size, and shape of the material being moved. All material handling equipment has rated capabilities that specify the maximum weight and usage circumstances that can be safely handled by the device. Employers are responsible for ensuring that each piece of equipment has a capacity rating and that it is not exceeded, with the exception of load testing.
Even if they are familiar with powered equipment, personnel should exercise caution when stacking and storing materials. Workers must perform the following when using a powered industrial truck to pick up items:
- To reduce the risk of the truck tipping or the load falling, center the load on the forks as close to the mast as acceptable
- Do not overload lift trucks as it reduces control and increases the risk of tipping
- Never overload a counterbalanced forklift by adding extra weight to its back end
- When traveling, adjust the load to the lowest position
- Comply with the operational guidelines provided by the truck’s maker
- Whenever possible, pile and cross-tier all stacked loads correctly
Train To Be Prepared
Employers can lower the number of workplace accidents caused by manually moving, handling, and storing products by following certain simple safety rules like good ergonomics, standard fire safety precautions, and keeping aisles and pathways clean. Instructional training and guidance can not only educate to avoid worker injury, but save time in getting the work done effectively and efficiently.
Employers must also train workers about how to operate equipment safely when handling materials in order to reduce the frequency of accidents related to it. This includes understanding how to utilize tools like conveyors, cranes, and slings safely and effectively in addition to motorized industrial trucks.
It is recommended that employers establish a formal training program to teach workers how to recognize and avoid materials handling hazards. Instructors should be highly knowledgeable in safety engineering and materials handling and storing. The training should reduce workplace dangers by stressing the following factors:
- Dangers of lifting without proper training
- Avoidance of unnecessary physical stress and strain
- Awareness of what a worker can comfortably handle without undue strain
- Use of equipment properly
- Recognition of potential hazards and how to prevent or correct them
Customer Equipment Company, empathizes with any Material Handling Shipping and Storage issues you may be experiencing. When using us as a supplier, please work closely with your CEC Customer Representative, to make certain your order is fulfilled in an expedient and efficient manner.
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