Moving and Lowering a Pallet

1. Start and stop slowly when moving a loaded jack. You’ll probably be surprised at first by how easy it is to move a heavy load once it’s secure on a pallet jack. It’s easy to get the load moving and hard to get it to stop, so it’s essential to keep it under control at all times. Make slow, steady starts and stops to help ensure such control.

  • If possible, practice a few starts and stops with the loaded jack in a wide open, low-traffic area. This will, among other benefits, give you a good idea of the amount of stopping distance you need.

2. Push or pull the load depending on the situation. This is the eternal debate of the manual pallet jack community. Some people say to pull because it’s easier to maneuver the load, while others say to push because it’s easier on your body (especially your back). In either case, keep the following in mind:

  • Always pull the load up an incline and push it down an incline. In other words, make sure that, if you should lose control, the load will roll away from you.
  • Many people find it easier to push rather than pull through tight spaces and turns.
  • Keep your back straight instead of curved or hunched while you push or (especially) pull.
  • Your business or organization may have specific rules regarding when or if to push or pull.

3. Make wide turns and never make blind turns. Even in expert hands, loaded pallet jacks do not turn on a dime. Slow down and maneuver deliberately, making as wide of a turn as the space allows. In every case, though, make sure you know what’s around the corner before starting a turn.

  • If your route has blind turns, bring along a “spotter” who can look around corners and identify other potential hazards along the way.
  • It’s usually easier to pull a load around turns, but never pull around a turn that’s on a downward slope.

4. Pull the actuating lever out of neutral to lower the pallet. For most models of manual pallet jacks, pulling on the lever causes the forks to slowly lower back down. Release the lever to set it back to neutral once the pallet is resting firmly on the ground.

  • Check the operator’s manual if your model has a different type of actuating lever.

5. Withdraw the forks from the pallet with the lever in neutral. Slide the forks straight out from under the pallet, then move the pallet jack to a level spot where it won’t get in the way of any other workers. Keep it in neutral so that the handle is locked in the upright position.

Air Compressor

Setting up the compressor

1. Check the pump oil level if your compressor isn’t oil-free. Old compressors, as well as large ones, tend to be oil-filled. Locate the dipstick near the bottom of one of the compressor’s ends. Pull it out and check to see that the oil level reaches about ⅔ of the way up the stick. If it doesn’t, pour some compressor oil into the tank.

  • If you need oil, it can be found at most home improvement, hardware, and auto parts stores.
  • If you’re unsure about what kind of compressor you have, consult the owner’s manual. Most small compressors are now oil-free, so that’s why you may not see an oil tank or dipstick.

2. Attach the hose to the regulator valve. Set the compressor on flat ground. Find the regulator valve, which should be right next to the smaller pressure gauge on 1 end of the compressor. It’s a round, copper-colored, metal plug with a big hole in the middle. Push the pointed end of the hose into the valve to attach it.

3. Plug your power tool into the hose. Hold the hose in 1 hand and the power tool in the other. Slide the tool’s plug into the hose’s free end and twist them together until the tool locks in place. When the tool is on securely, it won’t slide off.

  • If you are pumping a tire, push the coupler onto the tire’s valve.

4. Plug the compressor into a grounded 3-prong outlet. Make sure the compressor’s power switch is turned off before plugging it in. Avoid using extension cords if you can’t reach a working outlet. Instead, get another air hose and plug it into the first one.

  • To attach 2 hoses together, slide the plug end of 1 hose into the receiving end on the other hose. It works the same way as attaching a power tool to the hose.
  • Extension cords aren’t recommended because they can cause the compressor to overheat.

Operating the compressor

1. Put on safety goggles and closed-toed shoes. This is important to do in order to operate power tools safely. A good pair of shoes or boots shields your toes from any dropped tools. Put on all your safety gear before attempting to operate the compressor.

  • Some tanks and tools can be pretty noisy, so consider wearing ear muffs as well.

2. Pull on the safety valve to test it. Look for a copper-colored plug near the hose line. It will be tightly in place on the compressor and may have a ring that makes it easier to pull. Tug it towards you to release the valve and listen for the hiss of escaping air. Push the valve back in place before starting the compressor.

  • Hearing air hiss out of the valve is a sign that it works. Otherwise, if you are able to pull the valve out and put it back in securely, it should be fine even if you don’t hear any air escape.

3. Turn on the compressor and wait for the tank to pressurize. Flip the electrical switch on the tank to turn it on. The machine will buzz to life. Watch the larger pressure gauge on the tank’s side. Wait for the needle to stop moving, signifying that the air inside has reached the maximum pressure.

  • The second, smaller gauge near the hose displays the air pressure in the hose. The display on that gauge won’t move at all for the moment, which is fine.

4. Check your tool to find how much pressure it needs. This information is usually printed on the tool. Look for a sticker or letters on the tool’s underside, near the handle. If you can’t find it there, consult the owner’s manual for more information.

  • For example, the information may state that the tool functions with a maximum of 90 PSI. For safety, keep the hose pressure at 75 to 85 PSI. .
  • Every tool has a different rating, so you will need to adjust the pressure every time you switch tools.

Adjust the pressure regulator knob to match the tool’s PSI. The pressure regulator knob will be on the hose. Twist it counterclockwise to increase the amount of air flowing into the hose. Watch the smaller pressure gauge, also located on the hose, until it shows that the pressure is at the level you need.

Operate the power tool while air is in the tank. Once pressurized air is in the hose, your tool is ready for use. Every time you use the tool, the pressure in the tank will drop and begin refilling automatically. You won’t need to make adjustments until you switch to a different tool.

  • Check the pressure gauge again if the power tool suddenly seems to stop working. This happens with smaller tanks that can’t refill fast enough to accommodate larger tools. Wait a moment for the pressure to rebuild.

Shutting Off and Maintaining the Compressor

1. Open the air tank drain valve to let out condensation. The valve will be on the air tank, on the underside. Twist the valve counterclockwise so that the pressurized air blows out any collected moisture. Put the valve back in place by twisting it clockwise until you can no longer hear the air flow.

  • If you can’t twist the valve by hand, try using pliers.
  • To keep your compressor functional, drain the condensation after every use.

2. Turn off the compressor to drain the pressure. Leave the hose in place until the compressor is turned off. Twist the pressure regulator knob near the hose to shut off the hose’s air supply first. Then turn off the compressor and wait for the pressure to leave the system. Pull the pressure relief valve to speed up draining process.

3. Remove the hose and store the air compressor. Unplug the compressor from the wall, then remove the hose. Without pressure in the tank, it should slide right out. Store the compressor and hose in a dry, temperature-controlled area such as a closet.

4. Replace the oil every year if you have an oil-filled compressor. Like with any machine, clean oil is integral for operation. This is typically done by using a socket wrench to remove the plugs on the oil tank. Keep a container on hand to catch the old oil. Then, use a funnel to add new compressor oil.

  • Consult your owner’s manual for more instructions on opening the oil tank and changing the oil.

Ergonomic Principles in Warehouses

Warehouse tasks can be divided into three broad categories: placing and picking; packing; and receiving and shipping.

Placing and picking tasks– Placing and picking tasks often include the placement and retrieval of items from shelving or bins within the warehouse or storage system. These tasks can be performed in a number of ways and require varying amounts of equipment. Some examples include:

  • Placing or picking large or heavy items using a forklift or other lift mechanism from a floor location.
  • Using an order picker to place or pick items from various heights.
  • Using a cart to manually place or pick items from the ground level.

Manual Lifting/Handling- Back injuries may occur from improper lifting or overexertion. Solutions:

  • Provide general ergonomics training and task-specific training
  • Minimize the need for lifting by using good design and engineering techniques
  • Lift properly and get a coworker to help if a product is too heavy-NEVER LIFT MORE THAN YOU CAN CARRY
  • Stay in good shape

Risk factors that might present themselves during the picking and placing relate to the way products are handled. These can include the weight of items, the body postures and frequency while handling these items. Some things that can be done to reduce the risk factors related to injuries from placing and picking for manual or mechanized tasks include:

  • Ensure that the individual is aligned with the item’s storage location in a way that does not require twisting of the back.
  • When possible, position the individual so that the activity (lifting, pulling, pushing, placing, etc.) occurs between knee and shoulder height. Heavy or awkward items should be positioned between knuckle and elbow height.
  • Use proper lifting techniques.
  • Utilize mechanical assistance (hoists, pulleys, lifts, etc.) when handling heavy or awkward items.
  • Ensure that the wheels on carts are well-maintained and in proper working order. Poorly maintained carts increase the force needed to maneuver them.
  • Do not overload carts. Ensure that the weight on carts is within the design specifications of the cart. Additionally, ensure that items on the cart are not above the individual’s field of vision. Items that are stacked at high levels can restrict the field of vision and limit the maneuverability of the cart and the individual, thus increasing the risk of bumping into items or rolling over items that might be near the floor and also could cause awkward body postures.
  • Ensure that safety checks are performed regularly for all mechanical equipment and that the equipment is in proper, safe working order.

Packing tasks– Packing tasks often include the preparation of items for shipment once they are retrieved. These tasks can be performed in a number of ways, depending on the shipping method necessary and the size of the item being packed. Some examples include:

  • Securing large or heavy items in shipping crates or on pallets. This might require the use of shrink-wrapping equipment or other methods to secure the shipment.
  • Packing items in boxes and including appropriate packing materials to secure the item during shipment.
  • Completing necessary paperwork for shipment. .

Risk factors that might be present during packing tasks relate to the way products are received, packed and shipped. These can include the weight of items, the body postures when handling them and the frequency of handling items.

  • Position the orientation of the product and the worker in a way that does not require twisting or extended reaches by the worker.
  • Work as close to the neutral posture as possible. Neutral posture includes a straight neck, straight back with the curves naturally supported, shoulders straight down, elbows at a right angle and wrists straight.
  • Minimize forces that are applied. These forces can include pinching, gripping, pushing and pulling while performing tasks like taping, filling packages with fill material, retrieving packing slips and other needed paperwork and other tasks.
  • Use proper lifting techniques.
  • When possible, minimize the need to carry items by using carts, conveyors and roller tables.

Receiving and shipping tasks– Receiving and shipping tasks often include pallet breakdown or pallet construction. These tasks may be performed manually and include the breakdown of pallets containing similar items or pallets of mixed items. Some examples include:

  • Securing large or heavy items in shipping crates or on pallets. This may require the use of shrink-wrapping equipment or other types of materials to secure the shipment.
  • Packing items in boxes and including appropriate packing materials to secure the item during shipment.
  • Completing necessary paperwork for shipment.

Risk factors that can be present during packing tasks relate to the way products are received, packed and shipped. These can include the weight of items, the body postures of the workers and frequency of handling these items. Some things that can be done to reduce the risk factors related to injuries from receiving and shipping tasks include:

  • Use proper lifting techniques.
  • Use mechanical assist when possible.
  • Place the load between knees and shoulders when possible. Heavy weights should be placed between knuckle and elbow height.

Poor Ergonomics – Improper lifting, repetitive motion or poor design of operations can lead to musculoskeletal disorders in workers. Solutions:

  • If possible, use powered equipment instead of requiring a manual lift for heavy materials
  • Reduce lifts from shoulder height and from floor height by repositioning the shelf or bin
  • Ensure overhead lighting is adequate for the task at hand
  • Provide employees with task-oriented ergonomic training
  • Use your legs and keep your back in a natural position while lifting
  • Test the load to be lifted to estimate its weight, size and bulk, and to determine the proper lifting method
  • Get help if the load exceeds the maximum weight a person can lift safely without assistance
  • Don’t twist while carrying a load, but shift your feet and take small steps in the direction you want to turn
  • Keep floors clean and free of slip and trip hazards.

Sitting is recommended when:

  • All items are within reach.
  • No large forces (more than ten (10) lbs.) are required.
  • Fine assembly/writing is done the majority of the time.
  • Foot controls are utilized.

Standing is recommended when:

  • No knee clearance for seated operations is provided.
  • Objects weighing more than ten (10) lbs. are handled.
  • Operations are physically separated and require frequent movement between workstations

Tips for Managers and Engineers

Warehouse and storage managers and engineers often play a role in the placement of items and the development of standard operating procedures. During these activities, basic ergonomic principles should be followed in order to minimize ergonomic risk factors such as awkward body postures and high-applied forces. Some ergonomic principles to keep in mind are:

  • Place frequently used items on shelving that easily is accessed by a worker between his or her knees and shoulders.
  • Place large, heavy or bulky items between knees and shoulders (the heaviest ones should be placed between knuckles and elbows).
  • Ensure that employees are properly trained.
  • Implement rolling conveyors to move product between areas when possible.
  • Use mechanized devices such as pickers, pallet jacks, fork trucks and scissor lifts when possible.
  • Implement mechanisms so that pallet loading can be performed between knuckle and elbow height. This can be done through the use of platforms or pallet lifts.

Fire Safety and Fire Extinguisher Procedure

Fire Fighting Rules

Fires can be very dangerous and you should always be certain that you will not endanger yourself or others when attempting to put out a fire. For this reason, when a fire is discovered:

  • Assist any person in immediate danger to safety, if it can be accomplished without risk to yourself.
  • Activate the building fire alarm system or notify the fire department by dialing 911 (or designating someone else to notify them for you). When you activate the building fire alarm system, it will automatically notify the fire department and get help on the way. It will also sound the building alarms to notify other occupants, and it will shut down the air handling units to prevent the spread of smoke throughout the building.
  • Only after having done these two things, if the fire is small, you may attempt to use an extinguisher to put it out.

However, before deciding to fight the fire, keep these rules in mind:

  • Know what is burning. If you don’t know what is burning, you don’t know what type of extinguisher to use. Even if you have an ABC extinguisher, there may be something in the fire that is going to explode or produce highly toxic smoke. Chances are, you will know what’s burning, or at least have a pretty good idea, but if you don’t, let the fire department handle it.
  • The fire is spreading rapidly beyond the spot where it started. The time to use an extinguisher is in the incipient, or beginning, stages of a fire. If the fire is already spreading quickly, it is best to simply evacuate the building, closing doors and windows behind you as you leave.

Do Not Fight the Fire If:

  • You don’t have adequate or appropriate equipment. If you don’t have the correct type or large enough extinguisher, it is best not to try to fight the fire.
  • You might inhale toxic smoke. If the fire is producing large amounts of smoke that you would have to breathe in order to fight it, it is best not to try. Any sort of combustion will produce some amount of carbon monoxide, but when synthetic materials such as the nylon in carpeting or foam padding in a sofa burn, they can produce highly toxic gases such as hydrogen cyanide, acrolein, and ammonia in addition to carbon monoxide. These gases can be fatal in very small amounts.
  • Your instincts tell you not to. If you are uncomfortable with the situation for any reason, just let the fire department do their job.

The final rule is to always position yourself with an exit or means of escape at your back before you attempt to use an extinguisher to put out a fire. In case the extinguisher malfunctions, or something unexpected happens, you need to be able to get out quickly, and you don’t want to become trapped. Just remember, always keep an exit at your back.

Fire Extinguisher Safety

Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.

To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:

  • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Inhalation of mono-ammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate can cause mild irritation to the nose, throat, and lungs and results in symptoms like shortness of breath and coughing. Dizziness and headache are also possible. These symptoms usually resolve quickly with fresh air. Not all fires are the same, and they are classified according to the type of fuel that is burning. If you use the wrong type of fire extinguisher on the wrong class of fire, you can, in fact, make matters worse. It is therefore very important to understand the four different fire classifications.

  • Class A – Wood, paper, cloth, trash, plastics Solid combustible materials that are not metals. (Class A fires generally leave an Ash.)
  • Class B – Flammable liquids: gasoline, oil, grease, acetone Any non-metal in a liquid state, on fire. This classification also includes flammable gases. (Class B fires generally involve materials that Boil or Bubble.)
  • Class C – Electrical: energized electrical equipment As long as it’s “plugged in,” it would be considered a class C fire. (Class C fires generally deal with electrical Current.)
  • Class D – Metals: potassium, sodium, aluminum, magnesium Unless you work in a laboratory or in an industry that uses these materials, it is unlikely you’ll have to deal with a Class D fire. It takes special extinguishing agents (Metal-X, foam) to fight such a fire.

Most fire extinguishers will have a pictograph label telling you which classifications of fire the extinguisher is designed to fight. For example, a simple water extinguisher might have a label indicating that it should only be used on Class A fires.

The Fire Triangle

In order to understand how fire extinguishers work, you first need to know a little bit about fire. Four things must be present at the same time in order to produce fire:

  1. Enough oxygen to sustain combustion,
  2. Enough heat to raise the material to its ignition temperature,
  3. Some sort of fuel or combustible material, and
  4. The chemical, exothermic reaction that is fire. Oxygen, heat, and fuel are frequently referred to as the “fire triangle.” Add in the fourth element, the chemical reaction, and you actually have a fire “tetrahedron.”
    The important thing to remember is: take any of these four things away, and you will not have a fire or the fire will be extinguished. Essentially, fire extinguishers put out fire by taking away one or more elements of the fire triangle/tetrahedron. Fire safety, at its most basic, is based upon the principle of keeping fuel sources and ignition sources separate.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Air Pressurized Water Extinguisher – APW stands for “air-pressurized water.” APWs are large, silver extinguishers that are filled about two-thirds of the way with ordinary tap water, then pressurized with normal air. In essence, an APW is just a giant squirt gun. APWs stand about 2 feet tall and weigh approximately 25 pounds when full.
Never use water to extinguish flammable liquid fires. Water is extremely ineffective at extinguishing this type of fire, and you may, in fact, spread the fire if you try to use water on it. Never use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Water is a good conductor, and there is some concern for electrocution if you were to use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Electrical equipment must be unplugged and/or de-energized before using a water extinguisher on it.
APWs extinguish fire by taking away the “heat” element of the fire triangle. APWs will be found in older buildings, particularly in public hallways, as well as in Residence Halls. They will also be found in computer laboratories. It is important to remember, however, that computer equipment must be disconnected from its electrical source before using a water extinguisher on it

Carbon Dioxide extinguishers – are filled with non-flammable carbon dioxide gas under extreme pressure. You can recognize a CO2 extinguisher by its hard horn and lack of pressure gauge. The pressure in the cylinder is so great that when you use one of these extinguishers, bits of dry ice may shoot out the horn.
CO2 cylinders are red and range in size from 5 lbs to 100 lbs or larger. In the larger sizes, the hard horn will be located on the end of a long, flexible hose.
CO2s are designed for Class B and C (flammable liquid and electrical) fires only. Carbon Dioxide is a non-flammable gas that extinguishes fire by displacing oxygen, or taking away the oxygen element of the fire triangle. The carbon dioxide is also very cold as it comes out of the extinguisher, so it cools the fuel as well.
CO2s may be ineffective at extinguishing Class A fires because they may not be able to displace enough oxygen to successfully put the fire out. Class A materials may also smolder and re-ignite. CO2s will frequently be found in laboratories, mechanical rooms, kitchens, and flammable liquid storage areas

Dry Chemical Extinguishers – come in a variety of types. You may see them labeled:

  • “DC” short for “dry chem”
  • “ABC” indicating that they are designed to extinguish class A,B,and C fires, or
  • “BC” indicating that they are designed to extinguish class B and C fires.

“ABC” fire extinguishers are filled with a fine yellow powder. The greatest portion of this powder is composed of mono-ammonium phosphate. Nitrogen is used to pressurize the extinguishers. It is extremely important to identify which types of dry chemical extinguishers are located in your area. Read the labels and know their locations!
You don’t want to mistakenly use a “BC” extinguisher on a Class A fire, thinking that it was an “ABC” extinguisher. An “ABC” extinguisher will have a label like this, indicating that it may be used on class A, B and C fires.
Dry chemical extinguishers put out fire by coating the fuel with a thin layer of dust, separating the fuel from the oxygen in the air. The powder also works to interrupt the chemical reaction of fire, so these extinguishers are extremely effective at putting out fire. These extinguishers will be found in a variety of locations. New buildings will have them located in public hallways. They may also be found in laboratories, mechanical rooms, break rooms, chemical storage areas, offices, etc.

In the event of a fire spreading, you must react quickly: Locate the fire and the nearest exit that does not bring you in the path of danger. Cover your mouth with your sleeve to filter the air and protect your lungs as much as possible from damaging smoke. Continue walking across the lot to Room 14 and meet the rest of your co-workers. If you are a team lead, it is important that you must keep a log of attendance for the day, and report any missing persons immediately to the general manager. In the event the fire spreads rapidly, follow the same instructions, but evacuate to the fire station located at 99 Wanamaker Ave, Essington, PA 19029

Cleaning Products – Use and Safety

Hazard Communication- Chemical burns are possible if spills of hazardous materials occur. You must alert your supervisor if you come into contact with a chemical and refer to MSDS sheets for cleaning procedure.


  • Know the location Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and refer for each chemical to which workers are exposed in the facility
  • Follow instructions on the MSDS for handling chemical products every single time
  • Read the risks of each chemical being used/stored and spill control plan
  • Use spill cleanup kits in any area where needed/check weekly to ensure they are stocked
  • Do not begin use unless you protect yourself and properly prepared to use and dispose of chem
  • Always use proper personal protective equipment and enforce its use to others
  • Store all chemicals safely and securely
  • Store chemicals away from forklift traffic areas.

1. Read The Label (Including The Fine Print)

Another way to say this rule is to “use as directed.” The cleaning product’s label will tell you how to use it safely and effectively. Always refer to your MSD sheets located in the main office for proper use, storage, and safety. You must always use products in a ventilated area. It is important to pay attention to the following portions of the directions, in particular:

  • What types of items do the directions say you can use the cleaning product on
  • What items the product specifically warns you not to use it on?
  • Amount of the product to use?
  • How long to apply the product (or how quickly to remove the product)?

2. Do Not Mix Cleaning Products Together -even if made from same or similar chemicals Mixing cleaning products can create dangerous/poisonous fumes that can injure yourself and others. For instance, do not mix chlorine bleach with either vinegar or ammonia. If you do it will create a poisonous gas.

3. Store Your Cleaning Products Safely Keep your cleaning products stored in a designated location with a door that shuts properly. DO NOT SET CLEANING PRODUCTS ON THE FLOOR – Many of them are dangerous if ingested or if they come in to prolonged contact with skin, or any contact with eyes. Safety tips to follow regarding safe storage of your cleaning supplies:

  • Keep the products in their original containers, so you know what they are and when the expire.
  • If you need to dilute a cleaning product, or you make homemade cleaning products, be sure to label and date your containers.
  • Keep your household cleaners away from food storage areas or eating areas. You do not want to get cleaners and food mixed up or combined in any way.

4. Dispose Of Your Cleaning Products Properly

When you finish with a cleaning product you need to make sure you dispose of it properly. Many times the label itself will explain any specific rules for disposal. Follow them (see Rule 1 above). Other considerations when disposing of cleaning products properly are as follows:

  • Keep even empty bottles and containers away from kids and animals, so they cannot get into them. Place them into a closed garbage bag or can, instead of an open wastebasket.
  • Do not flush disposable wipes down the toilet.
  • Do not pour cleaning products down your sink drain or into the toilet.

The Don’ts of cleaning product usage

DON’T store far more than you need.

DON’T ignore damaged or thoroughly used. Keep a check on the state of the cleaning equipment and replace when required.

DON’T store chemicals haphazardly. Keep apart solid and liquid products, flammable and non-flammable liquids; acids and alkalis etc. Ensure all flammable substances are stored in a flameproof metal cupboard.

The Do’s of cleaning product usage

DO use Health and Safety warning signs where appropriate

DO think about safe handling. Heavier products should be stored at waist height or on lower shelves

DO ensure access equipment, such as step stools, are available to help reach higher stored items

DO ensure racking and shelves are in good order

DO ensure you routinely have your cleaning tools checked, serviced or replaced.

General Warehouse Safety

Think Safety

  • More than 145,000 people work in over 7,000 warehouses.
  • The fatal injury rate for the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all industries
  • Potential hazards for workers in warehousing
  • Unsafe use of forklifts
  • Improper stacking of products
  • Failure to use proper personal protective equipment
  • Failure to follow proper lockout/tagout procedures
  • Inadequate fire safety provisions
  • Repetitive motion injuries


Hazard: Injuries happen here when forklifts run off the dock, products fall on employees or equipment strikes a person.

  • Drive forklifts slowly on docks and dock plates
  • Secure dock plates and check to see if the plate can safely support the load
  • Keep clear of dock edges and never back up forklifts to the dock’s edge
  • Provide visual warnings near dock edges
  • Prohibit “dock jumping” by employees
  • Make sure that dock ladders and stairs meet OSHA specifications.

Charging Stations

Fires and explosion risks are possible unless proper guidelines are followed.

  • Prohibit smoking and open flames in and around charging stations
  • Provide adequate ventilation to disperse fumes from gassing batteries
  • Ensure that fire extinguishers are available and fully charged
  • Provide proper personal protective equipment such as rubber gloves and eye and face protection
  • Properly position forklifts and apply brakes before attempting to change or charge batteries; follow required procedures when refueling gas or propane fueled forklifts
  • Provide conveyors, overhead hoists or equivalent materials handling equipment for servicing batteries
  • Provide an eye washing and safety shower facility for employees exposed to battery acids.

Other Hazards

Inadequate fire safety provisions, improper use of lockout procedures and failure to wear personal protective equipment also create hazards in the warehouse workplace. Employers should have an emergency plan that describes what is expected of employees in the event of an emergency, including:

  • Provisions for emergency exit locations and evacuation procedures
  • Procedures for accounting for all employees and visitors
  • Location and use of fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment.

Warehouse operations need a lockout/tagout program to prevent equipment from being accidentally energized and injuring employees. Employees required to perform these operations should be trained and all employees should have a working knowledge of the program. Finally, management at warehouse operations needs to conduct a site hazard assessment to determine what personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn based on the hazards present and train warehouse employees on proper PPE selection, use and maintenance.

General rules and instructions for warehouse work:

  • Operate a forklift or aerial work platform only if you are licensed to do so and have been inducted on how to do it
  • Obey traffic signs and use designated routes to drive and walk in the warehouse
  • When driving a forklift, wear a seat-belt (if there is one). Also, keep the cabin door shut when driving a forklift
  • Use all the tools and machines as instructed, including their safety devices
  • Always wear the appropriate protective equipment and use the proper tools
  • Do your own part to make sure that customers do not use tools or machinery that can cause hazards or move around in unsafe areas
  • When starting conveyors or other machinery make sure no-one is in the operating area. Make sure you know where the emergency switch is. When you need to clear a jam, disconnect the machine from the power source before attempting to do it or call for maintenance and make sure the machine is tagged out of use until it has been serviced.
  • When starting conveyors or other machinery make sure no-one is in the operating area. Make sure you know where the emergency switch is. When you need to clear a jam, disconnect the machine from the power source before attempting to do it or call for maintenance and make sure the machine is tagged out of use until it has been serviced.

Good housekeeping Disorder and untidiness cause many accidents, material damages and fires as well as make the place less pleasant to work in. Good order means that there is an assigned place for everything and that items are replaced in their place after use. You can do your share to maintain order and tidiness.

  • Don’t leave items or the forklift in intersections or their vicinity or along aisles – not even for a short while
  • Discard wrapping and packing plastics after removing them
  • Clear the forklift cabin from all extra items (sticker sheets, tape rolls, etc) at the latest at the end of your shift
  • Keep exits, the vicinity of electric switchboards, first aid and fire safety areas and stairwells clear of clutter
  • Clean spilled materials right away if it can be done safely – if not, isolate the area and notify the appropriate person
  • Remove snow, ice and dirt from pallets and other such units before bringing them indoors
  • Keep the break room tidy: throw used paper cups in the bin, put magazines on the shelves, wipe coffee stains off the table, etc.