Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, online shopping has increased significantly, and warehouse workers are busier than ever. While the overtime paychecks from the longer hours are certainly one benefit, there is one major drawback to longer hours in the warehouse: exhausted workers are more likely to suffer from workplace injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fatal injury rate for the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all industries.
Forklifts, stacked pallet racks, dangerous materials, and other potential hazards all increase the risk of warehouse worker injury. Employers are responsible for creating a work environment that prioritizes worker safety and minimizes the risk of injury for their employees, but it’s also important for warehouse workers to know what to look out for so they can do their part to keep themselves and their colleagues safe. Here are 7 common warehouse injuries:
1. FORKLIFT ACCIDENTS
Every year, 100 people are killed and 95,000 people are injured in forklift accidents. The most common accidents involve overturned forklifts, which can crush and seriously injure or kill the employee.
2. HIT BY AN OBJECT
In addition to forklifts, objects stacked high on pallets put workers at risk of being hit by an object. Pallet collapses and falling objects often result in concussions, back injuries, shoulder injuries, and worse.
3. CAUGHT BETWEEN OBJECTS
Warehouse work puts hands, fingers, feet, and even whole bodies at risk of being caught between pieces of equipment, between heavy objects, or even between a truck and the loading dock.
4. SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALLS
The four-foot drop between the loading dock and the ground below presents a serious hazard to worker safety. Other potential hazards that result in workers slipping, tripping, or falling may include spilled powders, oils, or water. Uneven walking surfaces, inadequate lighting, and exposed cords also put worker safety at risk.
5. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
When shipments containing hazardous materials become damaged and spill, it can result in chemical burns, fire, convulsions, and even long-term effects such as cancer or organ damage.
6. OVEREXERTION INJURIES
Tasks involving lifting, pulling, carrying, and lowering heavy objects can result in overexertion injuries including back and neck injuries, muscle strain, and joint injuries.
7. REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES
Similarly, a job that requires a significant amount of repetitive motion over a long period of time puts the employee at risk of repetitive stress injuries. These may include carpal tunnel, muscle strain, and joint injuries.
Warehouse workers are an essential part of keeping our economy running and our families safe and healthy during this global pandemic, and they deserve to be kept safe and healthy as well. Employers are responsible for complying with OSHA safety standards and doing everything they can to protect their employees from illness and injury, but accidents still happen. If you’re a warehouse worker who has been injured on the job, you have a right to workers’ compensation benefits to help pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. Our workers’ compensation lawyers can help you fight for the benefits you deserve.
CALL THE LAW OFFICE OF The Law Office of Matthew Russell TODAY FOR YOUR WAREHOUSE INJURY
At The Law Office of Matthew Russell, we specialize in helping sick and injured workers navigate the complex workers’ compensation system to help ensure they receive the maximum benefits they are entitled to. If you’ve been injured in an on-the-job warehouse accident or suffered from any type of warehouse injury, please call us at (619) 544-1506 to schedule your free consultation.