The operations of the stores may expose store personnel to various risks that endanger their health and safety. The most common cause of injury to stores personnel is accident. Accident in the storehouse can be caused by:
- Incorrect handling of materials thus causing strain, muscles damage and long periods of sickness.
- Faulty equipment that suddenly breaks down at vital movement.
- Misuse or overloading of equipment against manufacturer‟s instructions.
- Poor storage conditions in the form of bad floors and unstable racks, shelves, bins and general fittings.
- Lack of supervision within the stores resulting in bad stores practices, untidiness and carelessness.
To improve the health and safety of employees, stores manager should pay attention to the following areas.
The following should be observed to ensure safety.
- Do not lift a weight that is too heavy for you.
- Protective gloves and footwear must be worn on rough, sharp or when heavy objects are being carried.
- Floor surface should be free of any obstructions.
- Correct equipment should used when lifting materials.
- All heavy materials above 25kgs should be lifted mechanically.
- There should be signs and signals to warn employees on danger spot such as slippery floors, steep stairs.
Ensure the following in the storage area:
- Check the floor load capacity to avoid sinking
- Do not stack against the one next to it.
- Do not stack above seven fits high.
- Ensure that the gangways are adequate and free from obstruction
- Do not overload racks or bins
- Movement of material within the store should be minimized.
- Highly flammable items like gas should be stored in a special building or container.
- Use the right ladder for the right job and examine it first for good condition
- Fire points, electrical points and exists must be clear of obstructions.
- The storehouse must be fitted with modern well maintained firefighting equipment.
- Escape doors must not be locked during working hours.
- Fire points should be clearly identified and easily accessible.
- Broken or ineffective electrical equipment should be repaired without delay.
- Electricals repairs should only be done by experts.
- In case of fire sound the alarm and report to your supervisor.
- Protective clothing should be worn when dust, falling material, handling hazards and corrosive or poisonous substances are likely to be encountered.
- The following clothing are available to the stores staff, overalls, gloves, goggles, steel toe-capped boots, helmets, warehouse coats etc.
- Disciplinary action will be taken against employees who fail to use protective clothing.
- Storehouses should be inspected from time to time to ensure that it is maintained.
- The walls and windows should be kept clean
- Toilets should be cleaned and well equipped.
- Stairs should be well lit.
- Lighting and heating in working areas should be adequate.
First aid boxes should be available at every storehouse and inspected regularly by the storekeeper. In the event of accident;
- Call for help and report to your supervisor.
- Do only what is necessary to put the casualty in a comfortable position.
- Do not move the casualty more than necessary before the arrival of experts.