Hazards for Warehouse Workers
Working in a warehouse has always been extremely hazardous. Today, there is an additional threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Serious injuries among warehouse workers, especially workers who operate forklifts, are surprisingly common. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 100 employees are killed every year in forklift accidents, and 95,000 workers are injured. Forklift turnovers caused most of these injuries and deaths.
For warehouse workers, managers, and corporations, it is important to follow OSHA guidelines to prevent injuries and costly Workers’ Compensation claims. Additionally, it is crucial to recognize common accidents and injuries to prevent them. To prevent accidents, overseers can adhere to the following OSHA guidelines:
- Properly train and certify forklift operators
- Make certain that operators are at least 18 years old
- Maintain equipment
- Identify potential hazards before use
- Follow the right procedures while loading and unloading
- Drive at safe speeds, which is no more than five miles per hour
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are common in warehouse industries. According to the United States Department of Labor, slip and falls account for 15 percent of accidental deaths and 25 percent of injury claims. Wet floors, debris, unaccounted equipment, and poor lighting are some reasons why tripping accidents occur in warehouses. OSHA recommends the following to avoid these accidents:
- Pick up all litter
- Keep organized and eliminate overcrowding in aisles
- Immediately clean spills
- Use caution tape when necessary
- Illuminate hard-to-see areas
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries occur due to bending, lifting, and the wear and tear of muscles and tissue. Back, hand, and leg injuries are common due to repeated motions among warehouse workers. To prevent these injuries, OSHA recommends to:
- Review and provide enough space for workers
- Provide rubber pads for legs and feet
- Teach employees and supervisors to lift with their legs, not their back
- Use back braces
Warehouses are littered with heavy items. Being hit by falling objects happens because items can shift on shelves. When unloading, it is crucial to be mindful of shapes and the weight of items. Properly store merchandise and make sure they are safely secured.
Today, the novel coronavirus has been invading warehouses, especially in Amazon environments. Several Amazon employees across the United States have made headlines because of their Coronavirus diagnosis, including a worker in the Edison, New Jersey location. Amazon has been extremely critiqued by its workers. Many workers feel that Amazon is not doing enough measures to ensure their safety and that universal testing should be required. If a worker feels that their work environment is unsafe, they are encouraged to speak to an experienced attorney to discuss their options.
Highland Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Injured Warehouse Workers
Warehouse industries should follow strict guidelines to prevent injuries and accidents. If you feel your employer failed to provide a safe workspace, our Highland Park Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr will evaluate your case and determine if you are eligible for compensation. Contact us online or call us at 732-249-4600 for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.