When good decisions lead to a successful stretch of productivity for your business, expansion might be in the back of your mind for the upcoming years. When you ultimately decide to invest more money into elaborating and diversifying your warehouse, you will definitely want to consider mezzanines to maximize the space within your building.
Constructing outward into a new building or renting another space is costly, time consuming and demands the necessary neighboring square footage to be successful. For those who have an expanding business with the space, time, and money to burn, this process might be stress-free, but let’s face it, most of us don’t have that luxury. If you’re looking for something to thwart those issues, mezzanines certainly have their place. Of course, nothing in this business comes without its challenges. Knowing the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) rules and regulations is extremely important for keeping your staff and your business safe.
The CCOHS has dedicated statistics to how people get injured at work every year, and slips and falls are among the most common that happen in the workplace. In Canada, over 42,000 workers get injured annually due to these unintentional mistakes and represent about 17% of the “time-loss injuries” that were accepted by workers’ compensation boards or commissions across the country. Approximately 34% of these accidents are falls from a height, which takes up a large chunk of these injuries.
The laws vary depending on your jurisdiction, however, most employers are required to have a fall protection plan if an employee is working at heights that exceed three meters. On a mezzanine, guardrails must be a certain height, be capable of withstanding a certain amount of force and it must also be finished properly as to not snag any clothing. Occasionally, there are openings in the mezzanine to allow the movement of product while restraining employees, so safety gates must be installed which meet the same regulations as guardrails. The floor is also very important, as it must be able to sustain a certain amount of weight and must have enough head room above and below. To get more details on the specific measurements, visit the CCOHS website here.
While considering a mezzanine for your workplace, it is important to keep your workers up to speed on safe working habits and practices. Slips happen where there is too little friction or traction between the footwear and the walking surface. Wet or oily surfaces due to accidental spills, weather, or loose mats can be at fault here. Trips can happen because of poor lighting, cluttered objects, uncovered cables, or wrinkled carpets. Staying aware of these hazards can help keep you safe when you’re on a mezzanine.
Keeping your warehouse’s mezzanine safe will come at the cost of diligently following the rules and regulations set out by the CCOHS and proper installation of quality material handling products. Combined with your staff’s strong awareness to hazards, good housekeeping and good selection footwear, you should not have any issues at all.