More than five thousand workers are killed on the job every year; weekly reports can be viewed on OSHA’s website detailing the individual events that caused the fatalities. This is a very scary number, but what’s scarier than the sheer number of deaths that occurred is that many of them probably could have been prevented.
For the week ending May first (the latest week with an available report), there were nearly twenty fatalities. One of the accidents involved an employee of a major national retailer who climbed onto a storage rack and fell while attempting to get back onto a ladder. There are other instances on the weekly report that point to poor judgment on the part of the employee and many that occurred as a result of faulty or malfunctioning equipment. These reports show that the proper employee training and education and the presence of properly functioning equipment that is specifically designed to handle the type of work being performed can most certainly prevent injuries and very likely save lives.
Warehouse and material handling equipment needs to be more than just fast, it needs to be reliable and safe in order to provide the best possible work environment. The best material handling equipment is quiet, reliable and easy to use because equipment failure and overly complex controls can increase the chances for accidents and injuries.
Employees need to be properly trained on how to use each piece of material handling equipment that they will encounter while performing their job duties and they need to be well aware of all general safety procedures and practices for the workplace.
There will always be injuries in a line of work that requires plenty of physical labor and the transport of heavy materials, but with the proper education and the safest and most reliable equipment, those injuries can be kept to a minimum.