6 Most Common Causes of Warehouse Injuries
Workplace accidents take a toll on your career, your physical well-being, and your family’s stability. When an injury happens, the employee is often left wondering if their job is safe, if their claim will be approved, and how they will make ends meet until they get back to work. This is especially true for warehouse employees in Southern California, as those in this industry have a greater-than-average risk of injuries. At Pisegna & Zimmerman, we focus on helping workers like you get the compensation they are entitled to under California law. Our extensive experience in workers’ compensation cases, as well as our multilingual staff, keep clients coming back whenever they need legal assistance.
Learn more about the unique risks faced by warehouse workers. If you’re injured at work, don’t wait to pursue the compensation you’re owed. Call Pisegna & Zimmerman at 818-888-8888 to set up a consultation right away.
Overexertion is a huge problem in warehouses. Even with mechanical lifts, warehouse employees often find themselves regularly hauling boxes and equipment in excess of 50 pounds. This may be due to broken or damaged equipment, saving time, or a lack of training on lifting equipment. Manual lifting puts enormous pressure on the back and neck, and over time, this pressure can lead to serious injuries.
Slips, trips, and falls are other sources of injuries in warehouses. Uneven flooring, spills, and poorly marked walkways can cause employees to slip and become seriously injured. In many warehouses, falls from higher levels can leave employees permanently injured. Although most warehouses have safety gear and signs to prevent accidents like these, that equipment may not be used in unsafe work environments where safety is not prioritized.
Warehouses are often stocked dozens of feet high with goods and supplies. When properly loaded and stored, these products stay secure even as heavy equipment rattles the warehouse floor and other hazards present themselves. But when items are not properly secured in warehouses, the smallest disturbance can send them tumbling. This may lead to traumatic brain injuries, cuts, crush injuries, and other types of injuries for warehouse workers.
Forklifts, a crucial component of warehouse work, are also a major source of injuries. The National Safety Council reports that there were 7,290 injuries involving forklifts in 2020. While the average amount of time spent away from work for an injury was 12 days, injuries caused by forklifts led to a median of 17 days off. Not only are forklifts a primary cause of injuries, they are also likely to cause more severe injuries. In addition to the injuries that occurred, there were 78 deaths attributed to forklift accidents in 2020.
Other Heavy Equipment
Forklifts aren’t the only heavy equipment you’ll find in warehouses, and any type of industrial equipment can cause serious injuries to workers. When safety mechanisms fail, untrained workers are allowed access to dangerous equipment, or workers fail to use proper safety protocols, heavy equipment can cause crush injuries, fatalities, and amputations.
The OSHA Pocket Guide on warehousing work indicates that some of the most common issues leading to OSHA citations include poor electrical system design and unsafe electrical wiring methods. Systems are often poorly designed, installed without concern for safety issues, or left unmaintained for years after initial installation. This puts employees at risk of electrocution and other significant dangers.
Fires often occur when electrical malfunctions exist. They are also an issue in warehouses where no-smoking rules are not enforced. Smoking is one of the most common fire risks in many warehouses, especially those that regularly expose workers to flammable hazardous chemicals. Additionally, overloaded or poorly laid out warehouses can make it nearly impossible for workers to get out when a fire does happen. As a result, many fires lead to preventable deaths.
Hazardous substances are unavoidable in many warehouses, due to their role in the manufacturing industry. However, supervisors and managers should ensure that chemicals are properly stored and used and that workers use the necessary safety gear when handling them. When hazardous chemicals are mishandled, employees may suffer chemical burns or serious illnesses.
Choose Pisegna & Zimmerman for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you’ve been injured at work and you have been denied the chance to file a workers’ compensation claim, it’s time to talk to Pisegna & Zimmerman. We’re ready to fight for you and your right to workers’ compensation. Set up a consultation now by reaching out online or calling us at 818-888-8888.
William Zimmerman is an experienced Los Angeles work injury attorney at Pisegna & Zimmerman. He offers invaluable advice and assistance when dealing with the often complicated workers’ compensation system. As part of Pisgena & Zimmerman, he and his team are a full-service law firm that is dedicated to obtaining the maximum amount of compensation from all available sources.