Warehouses are incredibly busy workplaces with workers labeling goods, moving large boxes and products, breaking down bulky items, assembling items, packaging orders, and loading and unloading trucks. The buildings can be big facilities or smaller areas in retails stores, such as grocery stores and big box stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. Unfortunately, warehouse workers’ jobs are no picnic, and they risk suffering serious injuries or death on a daily basis.
Eight Common Causes of Warehouse Worker Injuries
Workers spend their days lifting heavy boxes and working around heavy equipment, such as cranes and forklifts, so it is no wonder they face dangers to their health. Common causes of warehouse accidents include:
- Forklift accidents. Forklifts are routinely used in warehouses to move, lift, or lower large objects and boxes. Accidents can occur if the forklift overturns and crushes workers, backs into workers when the driver does not see them, or hits a worker who falls between the lift and a trailer.
- Overexertion. Workers often overexert themselves by lifting, pushing, carrying, and lowering items that are too heavy for them. Doing this repeatedly can exacerbate the problem, causing employees to suffer serious back injuries, shoulder injuries, and other muscle strains and sprains.
- Truck accidents. Warehouse truck drivers can be seriously injured or killed if they are involved in a vehicle accident while transporting warehouse goods.
- Hit-by-object accidents. Goods are often stacked high on pallets or shelving. If they are stacked too high or shift, they can fall and hit the workers below.
- Loading dock accidents. The loading dock area can be especially dangerous for workers. They can fall off the dock or be crushed or hit by the truck while loading and unloading materials. In addition, other employees working nearby can be hit by a truck driver that does not see them or fails to give them the right of way.
- Falling accidents. Floors in warehouses can become treacherous with spilled liquids, packing materials, and debris if not kept clean, causing warehouse workers to seriously hurt themselves in a slip and fall. In addition, workers often risk falling while working from heights when stacking or removing goods from high shelves, sometimes using unstable ladders or elevated walkways without sufficient protection.
- Fires. Worn and exposed wires, leaking flammable fluids and gases, and running electrical cords under carpets are common fire hazards. Fires in warehouses can jeopardize the entire workforce, with deadly results.
- Chemical exposure. Employees can be exposed to harmful chemicals stored for cleaning, and used in the construction of the warehouse, such as asbestos. Repeated exposure to these toxic substances can result in workers contracting occupational illnesses like serious lung diseases.
If you are a warehouse worker injured on the job, you could be entitled to compensation for your lost wages and medical bills under workers’ compensation. Order our FREE electronic book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know. Your Workers’ Comp Guide, to learn about your legal rights as an employee. And call me at 877-360-0183 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how I can help you.