Material storage is a process that involves a variety of different operations including hoisting heavy objects with a crane, transporting heavy loads using trucks, stacking large numbers of bricks, lumber, kegs, and other such objects, and moving loads manually.
Given the very nature of these operations, the possibility of workplace accidents cannot be ruled out. It is, however, entirely possible to mitigate the risk to a severe extent by following the proper precautions.
Precautions to Be Taken to Avoid Storage Hazards
- Accumulation of materials in the storage area that could constitute a tripping hazard or could potentially cause a fire accident or explosion should be prevented.
- Accumulation of materials, as well as dirt and debris that could lead to pest infestations in the storage area, should be prevented.
- If the warehouse or storage space is under construction, the materials should be placed a minimum of 10 feet from the exterior walls and 6 feet from the hoistways.
- Non-compatible materials should be stored separately.
- Employees whose duties include working on stored material in silos and hopper tanks should be provided with safety belts, lifelines, and other types of protective equipment.
Reducing the Risk of Workplace Accidents Involving Machinery
Workers are often required to use equipment such as conveyors, slings, and cranes to move and store materials. While operating this type of equipment, workers need to be very careful as even the slightest mistake can result in an accident.
Safety Measures to Be Followed to Prevent Conveyor Accidents
To reduce the risk of conveyor accidents and the injuries resulting from them, employers need to take the following precautionary measures.
- A pull cord or a button should be installed at the employee’s workstation so that the conveyor can be stopped immediately in case of an emergency, someone is in imminent danger, or there is about to be a severe incident.
- Stop cables should be installed along the length of the conveyor belt so that the machine can be stopped at any point in case of an emergency.
- The emergency switch should be designed in such a manner that the conveyor can be restarted only after the switch is reset.
- If the conveyor belt stops moving due to an overload, the stoppage should be cleared, and the machine should be inspected by the person in charge before it is restarted.
- Guards must be installed in places where the conveyor belt passes through aisles or work areas to prevent workers from getting struck by items that could fall off the belt.
- Workers should not be allowed to ride on a conveyor carrying materials under any circumstances.
Safety Measures to Be Followed to Prevent Crane Accidents
- Cranes with adjustable booms should be equipped with boom angle indicators.
- The cab of each cab-operated crane should contain a load chart, which the operator should check before starting the equipment.
- Workers should be cautious while operating the crane around power lines.
- The critical parts of the equipment should be inspected carefully on a daily basis for leakage, maladjustment, deformation, and other kinds of damage.
The Need for Educating and Training Workers
No amount of mechanical safeguards can suffice if the worker operating the equipment is uneducated and untrained. So, employers must make sure that workers are aware of the limitations of the equipment they operate and the risks involved in the operation.
They should also train workers in the safe use and maintenance of the equipment. Proper training can go a long way in lowering the risks of workplace accidents involving the storage and stacking machinery.
Watch YouTube Video: Material Handling and Storage. This educational video provides tips on how to handle and store heavy materials properly to avoid injuries. Note: this video has no audio.
Machine Accident Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a machine accident lawyer in Sacramento. Material storing and stacking can cause serious injuries if not done properly. If you or a loved one has been injured at work, call me for a free consultation at 916-584-9355.
I’ve helped numerous clients all over Northern California with wrongful death and personal injury cases for 36 years. My office works tirelessly to assist injured workers and their loved ones in earning the compensation that they deserve.
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