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Warehouse work, more than a lot of other industries, requires a lot of changes in elevation.

There are various heights of pallet racks, rivet shelves, and other types of warehouse shelving that all requires the aid of ladders, lifts, forklifts, and more to properly reach and store items on your higher shelves.

And as with any warehouse operation, any work performed at heights requires a great degree of safety and preparation both to protect your workers and inventory, and to make sure you’re meeting all required safety precautions. If you need some new ideas on how to keep your workers safe, or you want to make sure you’re doing all you can to improve height safety in your warehouse, read on:


Use guard rails wherever possible

Warehouse guard rails are a must-have in any warehouse that deals with heavy products, particularly when these products are being stored at different heights. When your work takes you above the main shop floor, guard rails are an effective and inexpensive way to add an additional layer of safety and fall prevention from raised floors, mezzanines, and other elevated surfaces where inventory needs to be stored. Many guard rails are purchased pre-fabricated and pre-cut to the size you need, and can be expanded with additional parts later on.


Train your workers on proper ladder usage

A sadly common source of accidents among any warehouse employee who works at heights is the improper usage of ladders. Too many times, people think they know all there is to know about ladders and wind up hurting themselves due to accident or oversight. There’s a lot that goes into ladders, but a few good starting points to use include:

  • Make sure all ladders are industrial-strength and designed to support a variety of heavy weights
  • Double-check the area for any debris or dirty surfaces such as ice, snow, or moisture
  • Check to make sure all braces are locked down and straightened out before using the ladder
  • All workers using a ladder need to bring a handbag or toolbelt with them to keep their hands free while climbing


Provide various means of working at heights

Not every tall rack can be accessed with just ladders, and trying to make ladders work for every storage need can be a common source of injury and accident. Provide a variety of height solutions like scaffolds, ladders, forklifts, and more – and make sure your workers are properly trained on their usage. Forklift certifications are required by law for a reason, and your entire warehouse will benefit from the presence of well-trained workers and properly-utilized height access.


Know your local regulations

Even after instituting your own safety solutions, proper understanding of and adherence to your local safety regulations will both keep your warehouse safe, make sure your workers are protected, and make sure you don’t get penalized by OSHA for creating a safety hazard. Whenever you install a new storage fixture, start using new height equipment, or simply rearrange your products, take some time to review any applicable safety regulations and make sure they’re all being closely adhered to. The safer your workers are, the happier the regulatory boards will be – and the happier the regulatory boards are, the better off your warehouse will be.

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