Well, we’ve all seen on YouTube what happens when a forklift driver stacks their load too high, and whilst it’s funny to watch on camera (if nobody gets hurt!), when it happens in person the consequences can be deadly.
After years working in the industry you may think you know what a safely stacked warehouse looks like, but do you really? Which of these common warehouse stacking issues have you overlooked?
Poorly Stacked Loads
Let’s start with the obvious. Every material, every product, every kind of stackable object has its own specific requirements. You might have calculated how high you can stack something, but have you considered the best possible arrangement?
Smaller items are more suited to block stacking if properly secured. Larger items may require brick or pinwheel stacking, depending on what you’re stacking and how you wish to retrieve them. Irregular shaped items such as bagged materials must be tapered into a pyramid; whereas cylindrical items should be blocked to prevent rolling. Is this how they’re stored in your warehouse?
Manual Lifting Procedures
Forklifts do the heavy lifting, but some objects are moved manually by your workers. Has your team been trained in proper lifting techniques? If not they risk both short and long term injury on a daily basis, and there’s not much a warehouse operative can do whilst laid up on doctor’s orders.
Also, proper lifting techniques won’t help if correct storage heights aren’t respected. Anything which will later be moved by hand should always be stored between knee and shoulder height.
Lack of Warehouse Markings
Employees can easily forget or ignore the recommended stacking height and location of certain items, so make sure your warehouse is fully marked up using paint or floor tape. Not only does this save workers the time of having to get out and measure, it also prevents them from resorting to guesswork.
If one employee estimates how far into the bay to drop their load, the next driver has to compensate, leading to an uneven distribution of items and an inefficient use of warehouse space. This can lead to obstructions, narrowed corridors, and potential accidents when navigating the warehouse inside a forklift.
Trip & Slip Hazards
The most common workplace hazards are the minor things that cause you to lose your footing; a small spillage here, a loose cable there, a single box left in a place it shouldn’t be. Fitting your warehouse with anti-slip floor tape is one solution, but it isn’t a replacement for worker vigilance.
Every warehouse will have its fair share of flammable, poisonous, and otherwise dangerous items, and there are guidelines in place for how and where to place these to minimise risk.
Reckless Machinery Operation
If you’ve lifted pallet after pallet, day after day, you’ll feel like you know your forklift like the back of your hand. This attitude can often cause employees to become blasé to the dangers of unsafe operation.
Pushing loads with fork tips, lifting employees without a work platform, and taking corners in the warehouse like Lewis Hamilton are just some of the bad behaviours a forklift driver might lapse into.
Keep an eye out for anyone taking liberties with the well being of themselves and their colleagues, and if they repeatedly ignore safety instructions, a spot of retraining might be in order, however experienced they may be
H&F Forklifts are experts in new and used forklifts trucks, as well as repair, servicing and maintenance. Contact our experienced team on 0800 298 8790 to book your free site survey.