Warehouse and storage operations: Health and safety hazards and how you can avoid them

Warehouse for storage operations

Helping you to store stock and manage your warehouse operations safely

Warehousing and storage activities present various hazards and risks if not managed correctly. We have installed a wide range of temporary warehouse buildings and have seen first hand how safe and efficient warehouse and storage operations can play a vital role in ensuring health and safety compliance and operational excellence.

So, if your currently overstocked, bursting at the seams and are struggling to store safely, here is a quick guide to improving your warehouse and storage operations. We will delve into the various hazards at play and provide expert insight to mitigate and avoid them.

Warehouse and storage industry background

The warehouse and storage industry plays a pivotal role in the global supply chain, ensuring the smooth flow of goods from manufacturers to end consumers. From worker safety to inventory management, efficient, well managed warehouse and storage facilities are key to your operational efficiency.

Warehouse housekeeping

Effective warehouse and storage operations start with strong housekeeping practices.
Warehouses are busy environments with constant movement. Proper housekeeping is fundamental to safe warehouse operations. Maintain a clean and organized workspace. Keep aisles and other areas clear of debris and clutter as this can be a common cause of slips, trips and falls. Cover and secure cables and other tripping hazards. If you are overstocked, finding the space to keep walkways clear can be a challenge. If you simply don’t have capacity to segregate walkways from storage zones and maintain emergency exit access, it may be time to increase your storage capacity with additional on-site storage.

Effective stacking and material storage

Incorrectly loaded or damaged pallet racks can lead to collapses, endangering both personnel and inventory. If floor space is at a premium, the most common option is to store higher, stacking stock up to the eaves of a building. However, this isn’t always the safest solution. It is vital to inform and educate warehouse staff on the load capacity of each rack and implement strict adherence to weight and height limits for storage.

To mitigate this risk, conduct routine inspections of pallet racks. This will identify any signs of damage or wear. You should replace or repair components as needed. To mitigate the risk, if you can no longer meet the demand for space, a temporary building can be easily integrated into an existing building. With clear eaves, large and safe racking solutions can be made to measure for your new storage building.

Hazardous materials and handling

Warehouses may need to handle or store hazardous materials, posing risks to both employees and the environment. products will have storage guidelines which need to be followed. If you are unable to store incompatible materials separately, one option would be to create a sperate storage space for these materials. A smaller storage building can be a complete stand-alone structure, or integrated to an existing store, without foundations. This provides a highly cost-effective and quick solution compared to a traditional building.

Material handling equipment (MHE) is essential for the efficient movement of goods within a warehouse. These include, roller cages and forklift trucks. Within a temporary building, you can custom design your space, by specifying roller shutter doors and other bespoke elements to make managing your warehouse safe and simple. We can work with you to design your new warehouse to accommodate all plant and equipment from the start.

Loading and unloading operations

Don’t let your loading bay become a dangerous bottleneck. If your existing warehouse operation requires unloading and loading operations, these are high risk activities. Wet and slippery conditions around vehicles and heavy loads present health and safety issues. Installing a loading canopy is one way to set your loading area up for safety. Where forklifts or pallet trucks are in operation, it’s especially important to keep the area dry and visibility clear. If you want to increase throughput, without risking rushing create an additional covered loading and unloading area.

A safe and comfortable working warehouse

There are a number of ancillary items that can improve the efficiency of your warehouse operations. These include; lighting, flooring heating and cooling. A temporary warehouse can be completely fitted out to meet your exact needs. A freezing warehouse is no safe place to work and retrofitting insulation can be cost-prohibitive. To provide a comfortable working environment and maintain a safe working temperature, we can provide a fully insulated warehouse solution.

Industrial steel sided canopy structure

General building safety and temporary buildings

There is a common misconception that a “temporary” building is just a short-term measure. Whilst this is true, they also provide a highly durable and long-lasting solution. With the right care, a temporary building can be in place for over 20 years. Our temporary warehouse and storage buildings meet all UK Building Regulations, snow and wind loading requirements and are precisely engineered to stand the test of time.

Keep your warehouse and storage operation safe and compliant

If you are Whether you need short or long-term storage and warehousing, our temporary storage buildings are a cost-effective alternative to traditional extensions or expensive new builds.   

A proactive approach to planning your warehouse and storage requirements means you can identify and mitigate risks early.  If you are at capacity and urgently need additional warehouse and storage space, a temporary building solution can be installed within a matter of days.  From initial contact with one of our temporary building experts to handover typically takes just 6-8 weeks.  With the affordability of a temporary building, speed of installation and complete flexibility, they are fast becoming the go to solution for many business who need to increase space fast.