Space Heater Safety in the Warehouse
As the temperature outside begins to dip lower and lower, many warehouses across the country will be utilizing industrial space heaters to help keep personnel warm while on the job.
There are a wide variety of industrial space heaters available today that can fit the unique needs of virtually any workplace, from electric heaters to propane and natural gas-powered heaters.
These heaters are great for ensuring personnel are comfortable -- but, as always, there are a few safety concerns to remember before setting up space heaters in your warehouse. Here are the most important things to consider when it comes to space heater safety in the warehouse:
Keep space heaters away from flammable substances and objects
Warehouse organization and cleanliness is a major priority when space heaters are running. All space heaters should be surrounded by at least three feet of open space; never leave flammable items like paper or packing materials near a space heater, and keep the heater away from sources of water that could create a shock hazard. Space heaters should be placed on a non-flammable surface like a concrete floor, as well. For optimal battery room safety, keep space heaters out of the lift truck battery room, as forklift battery handling involves corrosive, sometimes flammable chemicals.
Keep space heaters well-maintained and in good condition
Space heaters that are old, in poor condition or poorly-maintained are a fire risk. Regularly check each space heater's cords to ensure they aren't cracked or frayed; in addition, each heater's electrical plugs shouldn't have cracks. Always replace missing or damaged parts before operating a space heater.
Only use space heaters that are certified as safe
For a safe warehouse working environment, it's essential to only use heaters and heating equipment approved as safe by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Any space heaters that haven't been approved by OSHA should be replaced. You should also never use an extension cord with a space heater or plug anything into an outlet that also has a space heater plugged into it.
With the right heaters and the right space heater safety practices, your warehouse can stay warm and comfortable even in the most frigid winter weather.