Warehouse safety is a huge concern for warehouse owners, managers, and workers. One reason for this is the high number of fatalities and injuries that occur in this industry each year.
It is possible to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities among warehouse workers and staff by focusing on warehouse safety.
Here, you can learn more about how to reduce the possibility of being injured on the job as a warehouse worker. If you do find yourself in this situation, our legal team at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A., can help you file a claim and recover the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
Common On-the-Job Injuries Seen Among Warehouse Workers
Before learning how to prevent accidents in a warehouse setting, it is important to know some of the most common injuries that occur. The following are commonly seen in the warehouse environment:
Heavy Equipment Accidents
A warehouse is full of heavy equipment being used and moved. In fact, this equipment is one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the workplace.
Employees may be hit or run over, fall between a trailer and lift, or even fall from an elevated platform. Most accidents like this occur because of a crowded warehouse or improper training for the forklift operator. They can also be a complete accident, with no way to prevent or prepare for them.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Warehouse environments are often cluttered, dirty, and dusty. Slips, trips, and falls can occur when walkways are cluttered, or spills are not cleaned up.
Exposure to Chemicals
If you work in a warehouse where hazardous chemicals are stored, accidental spills may cause injuries or illnesses among workers. Unfortunately, most of these spills are true accidents and something that is hard to prevent.
Hit or Struck by Falling Objects
Warehouses, by definition, are where items are stored. In many cases, this means stacks and stacks of items. If these items fall, they can cause serious injury to those below.
Machine entanglement is, perhaps, the most severe injury that can occur in a warehouse setting. This occurs if an employee becomes entangled with large or dangerous equipment.
Tips for Preventing Warehouse Injuries
Managers and owners of the warehouse are typically required to have a safety plan and ongoing safety training in place.
Some of the tips that will help workers remain safe and avoid a serious accident include the following:
Always Use the Proper Safety Equipment
Safety equipment must be used for lifting heavy items and preventing falls from heights. Failure to use this safety equipment can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
However, safety equipment should be used, and employees must undergo the proper training to ensure it is used properly.
Eliminate All Safety Hazards
Floors in a warehouse should be free of all slip or trip hazards. The workers should also understand why it is important to keep walkways free from clutter and clean up debris when they are seen.
Warehouse managers should conduct regular checks to ensure debris, pits, and cracks in the floor, liquids, and stray cords are out of the way or repaired. All these issues can result in serious accidents for workers.
Find and Mark Dangerous Zones in the Warehouse
Stickers and signs are a functional and affordable way to keep the warehouse organized and safe from potential hazards. Be sure to use the labels for materials, equipment, and racks to prevent serious injuries. It is also necessary to mark the emergency exits and routes to get to them.
Ensure Proper Training Is Provided
Your staff must have the proper training regarding warehouse safety processes. This will help ensure they know the consequences of an unsafe workplace. Also, when you provide regular training, it will encourage your workers to follow the proper steps and procedures carefully.
Proper Clothing Is Required
Working in a warehouse requires workers to avoid loose-fitting clothing. These items can be caught in pallets or machines, which can cause serious injuries. It is also necessary for workers to wear protective clothing and PPE (personal protective equipment) like gloves, protective eyewear, hard hats, vests, and other items to ensure they are not injured.
Awareness is one of the best ways to prevent warehouse accidents. Workers should stay aware of what is happening around them and warn other workers of potential hazards. Be sure to communicate the importance of staying aware to avoid accidents and injuries.
We Can Help if You Are Injured On-the-Job
If you experience an on-the-job accident and injury, the aftermath of this can be challenging. It will be difficult to return to work, and you may also have extensive medical bills to pay. In these situations, you should look into workers’ compensation benefits.
In the state of Florida, workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance. It is designed to ensure injured workers can pay their bills until they can return to work. If you need help recovering the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to, our workers compensation attorneys at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. can help. The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We can learn about your situation and create a plan to move forward.