There are certain inherent hazards for employees who work in or around cold storage facilities. As such, precautions must be taken by employers and the workers themselves in order to ensure safety for all concerned. The following cold storage safety tips should be implemented whenever possible.
What Are The Risks Associated With Cold Storage Facilities?
Some of the risks associated with cold storage facilities are obvious, while others may be less so. It’s crucial for everyone to be aware of the potential hazards so that unnecessary incidents can be prevented. Risks include things like:
- Entrapment, where an employee is unable to exit from within the cold storage area
- Exposure, where an employee spends too much time in the cold environment
- Oxygen Deficiency, where a worker loses cognitive function due to inadequate oxygen intake
- Isolation, where a worker does not have anyone else looking out for them
- Poor Lighting, where a worker operates in insufficient lighting to perform work functions safely
- Slips and Falls, where the worker injures themselves due to inferior footwear or an untidy environment
Safety Control Measures
In order to prevent incidents related to the above risks and other risks, the following safety control measures should be put into place where there are cold storage facilities:
Working on the Buddy System
Employees should not be allowed to work in or around the cold storage facility in isolation. Instead, there should be a mandatory buddy system where there must be at least two workers present at all times. In addition, one worker should remain outside of the cold storage facility while the other works inside.
Cold storage facility floors often become slippery. Therefore, mandatory footwear with rugged sole grips should be worn when working in or near cold storage facilities. Every day “house” shoes or sports footwear should not be allowed.
The interior contents of the cold storage facility should be kept in an organized and neat fashion. This will help prevent tripping over items left on the floor as well as falls from overhead shelving.
Maximum Time Shifts
Workers should clock in and out of the cold storage facilities so that their time in that environment can be controlled. Excess time spent in certain cold storage facilities can result in dangerous oxygen deprivation conditions where employees may not make intelligent decisions about their own safety and the safety of others. Employees should only be permitted to work in the cold storage facility for a certain length of time before there is a shift change.
Exit Function Checks
Cold storage facilities come built-in with exit functionality. However, the exit functionality should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that it is operating according to expectations. Furthermore, the schedule for checking the operation should be posted adjacent to the exit mechanism so that everyone can view when it was last checked for correct operation.
Cold storage facilities are very useful and practical for a number of purposes. However, to ensure proper safety precautions are adhered to, follow these cold storage safety tips for workers in your facility.