A warehouse is a very dangerous work environment. There is heavy machinery moving around constantly. There are multiple workers, not all of whom may have the best personal safety practices. There could be heavy merchandise or dangerous chemicals stored in the warehouse. The job is physically demanding, which can mean people overexert themselves.
Warehouse employees who get hurt will sometimes require a leave of absence as they recover from their injuries. Avoiding an accident on the job might save you thousands of dollars in lost wages and weeks of painful recovery. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks workplace injuries to help guide safety practices.
What are the top three causes of warehouse injuries in the United States?
#3: Electrical systems
Sometimes, a forklift could penetrate a wall during an accident and cut through wires, which would be dangerous for anyone operating or touching the forklift at the time of the incident. Other times, companies may need to arrange for temporary electrical supply that can come loose or fray.
Electrical injuries are the third leading cause of injury in warehouses according to OSHA.
#2: Hazard communications
Workers in a warehouse rely on labels and signage to avoid injury. If a worker doesn’t know that there is a caustic chemical in a container, they might handle it inappropriately and put themselves or others at elevated risk of injury.
When employers or individual team members remove or fail to properly display hazard communication signage or labels, those at work in the warehouse could end up injured as a result.
#1: Forklift incidents
Most warehouses see a flurry of forklift activity as they place items up on shelves, unload commercial trucks and gather materials for a customer order. Forklift incidents can occur because of a machinery malfunction, an operator error or a mistake on the part of someone not using the forklift but working near it.
In all of these scenarios, the worker involved is only one of many people who will influence the outcome of the incident. While you can try to stay safe when handling chemicals, working near temporary electrical supply and crossing paths with forklifts, you can’t fully eliminate the risk these elements create on the job. Knowing about your right to workers’ compensation benefits can help you if you do get hurt in one of these common manners while at work.