The United States economy has seen exponential growth in the past few decades. Consumer-based industries have contributed to the increasing need for warehouses and workers. This increased demand is seen in the manufacturing, and industrial sectors as warehouses and other storage options play a key role in the distribution chain.
Operational warehouses create employment opportunities. However, they are also associated with a higher risk of injuries. Some of the common hazards that could cause injuries to workers include heavy equipment, falls, falling objects in the warehouse, exposure to toxic substances, and fires or explosions. So, what are the common injuries in warehouses?
1. Injuries caused by heavy equipment accidents
Forklifts and other heavy equipment types are the leading cause of severe injuries or even deaths in warehouses. For instance, forklifts are powered industrial trucks used to remove, move, lower, or raise objects. While they are operated manually, there is always a danger of such heavy equipment overturning and crushing on workers nearby.
Heavy warehouse equipment can also cause injuries during the loading and unloading of items. Employees can even be run over or hit, fall while on the elevated pallet, or fall between the trailer and the lift. Such accidents are more common because of crowded warehouses, unsafe working environments, and poor training.
2. Trips, slips, and falls
It’s generally common to have a wet floor or slippery one in warehouses. There may be dissimilar or uneven flooring surfaces. With excess inventory, containers, pallets, and accumulation debris, tripping accidents may be common. Other issues that could increase the frequency of trips and slips include grease, cords, or factory residue where workers usually walkthrough.
3. Exposure to toxic substances
Sometimes, it’s necessary to work with volatile and hazardous chemicals, particularly if you are handling a critical part of the production process. Unexpected spills of the chemicals are difficult to prevent, and there is a high chance you will be exposed to these spills. Thus, it’s important for every warehouse to have sufficient ventilation and train the workers about safety precautions when handling hazardous materials. This could help minimize the frequency of consequential injuries.
4. Being hit by falling items
In a warehouse, most items are stacked on shelves. As employees move around during their daily routines, there is a risk of these objects falling at some point. Issues such as human error, improperly kept objects, improper operations setup, and carelessness could also result in falling objects.
5. Machine entanglement
This is a dangerous workplace accident that can result in severe injuries or even death. Machine entanglement accidents occur when an employee gets caught in or compressed by warehouse or factory equipment. It is important for warehouse owners to get their employees trained and take the right precautions to ensure safety.
What are your rights when Injured in Florida?
To protect your rights after suffering warehouse injuries, report the incident to your employer, seek medical attention, and contact your attorney. Remember, workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state. Your attorney can help you figure out the specific laws that apply to your cases, determine the value of your claim, and protect your rights such as;
- The right to seek compensation for the damages you suffered.
- The right to reliable medical attention.
- The right to return to work upon full recovery.
- If you’re unable to return to work after the accident, you have the right to disability compensation.
- The right to appeal to your employer’s decision if you firmly disagree with their views, insurers, or workers’ compensation court.
- Right to be represented by an attorney during the entire process.
Getting injured in a warehouse is scary. However, the law allows you to seek compensation for the damages you sustain.