We Help Injured Warehouse and Factory Workers
Step inside any warehouse across the country, and you will see employees hard at work checking inventory, loading trucks, operating forklifts to transport heavy loads, moving materials from loading docks to other vehicles, and performing other physically demanding tasks that can put employees at risk for serious, and sometimes fatal injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), of the more than 145,000 warehouse laborers across the country, approximately one in 20 will suffer injuries in a given year.
Like any situation where there is the potential for injury, creating awareness of safety hazards, and making sure that proper safety protocols are in place and enforced, can help avoid some of these injuries. There are a wide range of hazards that can happen in a warehouse, but the following are some of the most common safety hazards, as well as tips on how warehouse workers can avoid these potentially dangerous situations.
Common Warehouse Injuries
Back Injuries from Overexertion
Warehouse workers tend to put a great deal of stress on their bodies as a result of heavy lifting, carrying and lowering. The back and shoulders are most likely to be effected by these types of movements, often resulting in chronic back injuries. Proper lifting techniques, as well as avoiding overexertion, will help prevent these types of injures.
Crushed by Heavy Equipment
Warehouse workers are at greater risk of being crushed by heavy equipment or industrial materials than those working in other industries. OSHA reports that two workers are crushed to death each month while on the job. Employees can avoid this type of jobsite accident by staying clear of heavy objects that could fall from above, and avoid operating machines or trucks on loading docks.
Exposure to Harmful Substances
It is common for warehouse employees to come in contact with harsh chemicals like asbestos and other dangerous materials. These chemicals can cause a wide range of serious health hazards. Employers should conduct regular inspections in order to ensure safe working conditions for all employees.
Loading Dock Injuries
Loading docks can be a particularly dangerous area in a warehouse. Hazards include falling off the docks, being crushed while loading or unloading, or hit by other vehicles that come too close while in the process of transporting materials from the dock to a truck. It is crucial to be vigilant about safety protocols at all times on loading docks in warehouses.
Heavy objects are often stacked on high platforms and shelves, which can lead to serious injuries if the object shifts and falls. Always stack heavy loads neatly to prevent materials, like cylindrical objects, from falling off the shelves and injuring someone.
Fires and Burn Injuries
One of the most potentially devastating accidents is also one of the most preventable. Fires are very common in warehouse environments, so it is crucial to educate employees on prevention measures, how to extinguish a fire and review warehouse exit strategies on a regular basis. Common causes of warehouse fires include the following:
- Worn and exposed electrical wires
- Flammable fluid and gasses that have leaked
- Running electrical cords under carpeting
Forklifts are commonly used in warehouses to move, raise, lower or remove heavy objects. Unfortunately, they are one of the most common causes of workplace injuries and deaths. If a forklift overturns, the heavy machine can crush the operator. Forklifts can also cause serious injuries if an employee is hit by a forklift, or falls between the lift and a trailer. Employers should conduct regular safety seminars on how to properly operate forklifts and how to conduct themselves when working in the vicinity of forklifts. Moreover, only licensed and trained workers must operator a forklift.
Lack of Safety Education
Ongoing safety education is crucial in order for a warehouse to function properly. A safe, efficient warehouse that avoids work-related injuries and deaths is not only a more productive business, but it saves a great deal of money in medical costs. Proper training for all warehouse workers is a must to prevent workplace accidents.
Slips and Falls
These account for a significant number of warehouse injuries each year. From slipping and/or falling on wet floor surfaces, to falling from docks or from upper levels, these workplace accidents are often caused by the following:
- Water or chemical spills
- Dust or powder accumulation
- Electrical cords or hoses on walkways
- General clutter
- Poor lighting
Slip and fall accidents can be avoided by applying anti-slip floor tape, installing proper lighting, clearing away all clutter and removing anything that can cause a person to trip. Install railings around docks or walkways next to drop-offs that are higher than four feet.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Maximum Compensation for Injured Warehouse Workers
If you have been seriously injured in a warehouse accident, it is in your best interest to act quickly, as Workers’ Compensation laws are time sensitive, and can be extremely complex. Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will fight hard to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the financial compensation you deserve. Call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.