Manual Handling

Top Warehouse Manual Handling Tips

Top Warehouse Manual Handling Tips

Despite the warehouse being a potentially hazardous workplace, many people overlook the manual handling requirements for health and safety management. They take a generic stance on warehouse safety and thus cannot manage risk effectively.

This results in various unique health and safety concerns, which could easily cause injuries. It’s not even funny; more than a third of workplace injuries result from manual handling.

Besides personal distress, this is bad news for business as well. Costs incurred by handling injury-causing errors could include sick pay for absences, lost productivity, compensation, and sometimes investigation costs.

So, it’s apparent that proper manual handling is vital, especially in the warehouse, where moving merchandise by hand is an everyday activity.

What Is Manual Handling?

When talking about manual handling, it’s easy to think of it as a limited set of actions, such as pushing a roll cage, moving a pedestrian-operated pallet truck around, or simply picking up a box.

However, manual handling is more extensive than many people think. Here are some facts regarding manual handling that you may not have known:

  • You don’t even have to be in the warehouse to do it.
  • The load doesn’t have to be large or heavy.
  • You don’t have to use your hands; as long as your body is engaged.
  • Pulling and pushing count.
  • The cargo doesn’t have to be an item; it could be an animal or a person even.
  • Everything you do with applied force to support the weight of or move a load counts.

Manual Handling Injuries

Manual handling hazards entail more than just hauling and lifting big loads. In fact, many warehouse accidents occur due to repetitive tasks, retrieving an item from the floor, the distance something is carried, or placing a load up on a shelf higher than one’s shoulder level.

Moreover, bending, stretching, or twisting are also potential causes of health and safety issues in the warehouse. And let’s not even forget about the ever-present danger of machinery-related mishaps and workplace falls.

Tips to Ensure Proper Manual Handling in Your Warehouse

Here are a few best practices to help you keep your warehouse safe and running smoothly:

  • Encourage the Use of the Right Equipment

Holding, carrying, tugging, pushing, lowering, and restraining items are all part of manual material handling. And as aforementioned, failing to undertake these practices properly could lead to chronic workplace injuries.

Luckily, providing the right equipment can significantly reduce the risk of injuries and accidents, especially where handling heavy loads is involved.

  • Arrange for Material Handling Training Sessions

Although highly overlooked, manual handling training sessions are necessary for teaching your employees how to use the various equipment and handle various types of merchandise. 

Failing to arrange for training could have your employees believing that they are handling loads appropriately when in the real sense, they aren’t. It would only be a matter of time before they incur back problems and other injuries from the frequent usage of erroneous lifting techniques.

However, refresher courses can teach them the correct manual handling techniques to avoid injuries and stay safe in the warehouse.

  • Organize Your Warehouse and Stack Shipments Strategically

After establishing the best techniques to handle the loads in the warehouse, it would be best to utilize pallet racking solutions for storage. These systems could prove helpful in speeding up your warehouse’s loading and unloading routines.

However, for better warehouse organization, a few factors must be considered. They include:

  • Best storage locations for easy accessibility of loads that require manual handling
  • Pallet size and depth of the racking system
  • The stock rotation method to be utilized
  • Whether handling bulk or small quantities of goods

Quick tip? Used pallet racking systems typically yield significant cost savings compared to new systems.

Finally, consider stacking loads in a way that doesn’t require workers to reach overhead or bend down to handle goods. That way, you can eliminate the risk of injuries caused by erroneous repetitive motion.

  • Conduct Risk Assessments

We all conduct risk assessments while going about our daily lives, mostly without realizing it. Just like logistics and transportation, warehousing operations are also associated with various risks, which must be identified and addressed.

When evaluating the risks posed by manual handling, consider analyzing the TILE technique’s four components: Task, Individual Capability, Load, and Environment.

  • Apply FLUENCY When Lifting.

Lifting is a part of many manual handling operations in supply chain companies; hence adopting safe lifting techniques is crucial. This can be effortlessly remembered by recalling the acronym FLUENCY, which stands for: Feet, Load, Unlock, Even, Natural, Control, Your Back.

Nonetheless, regardless of what lifting techniques your staff apply, the most crucial thing is that they evaluate every scenario based on its own merits.

  • Ensure Proper Maintenance of Manual Handling Equipment

Keeping all your manual handling equipment in good shape not only enhances productivity in the warehouse by cutting down handling time but also promotes workplace safety. 

As a result, investing in necessary replacements and repairs is essential.

  • Plan Manual Handling Tasks in Advance

Planning and collaborating with your staff can aid in risk mitigation. It would be best to determine precisely what has to be handled and how. It may prove wise to have an individual walk ahead or behind to keep an eye out for any hazards and warn the handlers.

Moreover, plans must be relayed to others, particularly nearby coworkers. That way, you can determine the best time to carry out the tasks, preferably when the environment is calmer.

Enhance Manual Handling in Your Warehouse Today

With good warehouse manual handling practices, like the ones discussed above, you can effectively keep your employees and inventory safe. This leads to improvements in your supply management by allowing manual handlers to speed up deliveries and document unusual orders.

As a manufacturer and supplier of logistics and storage handling equipment, we can help you attain optimal productivity and site safety. We offer high-quality pallets and roll cages of all types, including collapsible cages, pallet retention units, 4-sided roll cages, high-quality stillages, and more. So, contact us today and let us help enhance manual handling in your warehouse.


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