Warehouse Safety 101

There are risks inherent in any workplace situation, whether it’s the possibility of RSI or stress-related illness from a high-pressure office job or the potential to be in a physical altercation as a police officer. In terms of warehouses, there are a distinct and unique set of issues pertaining to safety that need to be identified and dealt with accordingly. A situation involving great heights, pallet racking, forklifts and manual labour requires some very strict and specific safety guidelines. We’ve put together a few to keep in mind, but a full and detailed list of your OHS requirements as a warehouse operator can be obtained from your local WorkSafe office.


In terms of personal protection, warehouse staff are required to wear protective clothing when engaged in manual labour or in storage areas, lest anything fall or be dropped. Protective clothing includes steel-capped boots, reflective vests and hard-hats, and can be the difference between walking away from an accident or suffering serious injuries. Training is another key element of staff safety, and not only should every staff member go through a rigorous induction phase, but training in terms of forklift operation, correct lifting procedures and work-site protocol should be ongoing.

Safety Netting

In terms of protecting both your stock and the safety of your staff, safety netting to prevent pallet racking from slipping or dropping is a must. Not only will secure safety netting act as a stop-gap between pallets and your staff (very handy indeed if your staff members enjoy their health) but it will ensure the highest possible standard of storage, preventing unnecessary spills and protecting inventory from damage.

Time On/Off

Warehouse work can be long and tiring and to ensure the utmost standard of care is taken among employees, strict timetables and schedules must be upheld. Staff need to be both properly compensated for any overtime they complete, as well as offered sufficient time to recover between shifts. Tired staff make mistakes, and it is not worth compromising the safety of your products, your reputation or your team members just to meet a deadline or to give someone an extra shift. Strict limits should be enforced in terms of hours worked, to ensure only the highest quality of work is performed in your warehouse.


Machinery and hardware such as shelving systems and other warehouse paraphernalia need to be kept in tip-top condition. A workforce is only as good as the tools they use, and if your equipment is faulty it can lead to either shoddy workmanship, lowered productivity or worse, injury and stock damage. To prevent this, make sure routine maintenance is carried out regularly and that small problems are fixed when they present themselves rather than being pushed under the table.

Leave a reply