Working in a warehouse is a common blue-collar profession. The constant flow of goods and materials through Pennsylvania helps to ensure that those working in the warehousing industry generally have steady work. The high demand for warehousing and transportation services often means that those in the warehouse industry may occasionally need to work overtime, and they often receive competitive pay because of the degree of risk inherent in their profession.
Workers in warehouses that get hurt on the job sometimes need to change professions or take a leave of absence while they recover. They can typically count on workers’ compensation benefits to help pay for their medical treatment and replace some of their lost wages. However, benefits aren’t able to fully eliminate the economic impact of a job injury, which therefore means it is far better to avoid an injury than to seek benefits after one whenever possible.
Warehouse workers often make safety their top priority because mistakes would increase their personal risk of an injury. However, their employers may not always focus on safety the way that they should. What are the most common warehouse safety breaches that lead to employees getting hurt?
Improper training on – or the maintenance of – heavy equipment
Forklifts, cherry pickers and other heavy equipment used to transport, lift and load stored goods and materials are a primary source of personal risk in modern warehouses. Employers sometimes fail to properly train their workers on the use of such devices or to follow safety protocols for them. Other times, they fail to properly maintain their machinery, with severe consequences.
Poor storage practices regarding weight, height or chemicals
There are certain practical limitations that apply to the physical storage of goods and materials. Heavier items typically need to be closer to the ground. There are maximum height limits for safe stacking. It is often all necessary to be very careful about sequestering chemicals and materials that react with chemicals for worker safety in case someone accidentally punctures a drum of chlorine. Frequently, businesses set aside these best practices for efficiency’s sake, only to lead to worker injuries.
Too much pressure on workers
Employers need to be realistic about how much workers can do in a single shift, as well as how long they can work each day and each week. Exhausted workers are more likely to make mistakes, and workers rushing through long shifts could potentially slip and fall. Many workplace incidents start off with someone who is moving too quickly to be cautious or so exhausted that they don’t function properly.
Avoiding work injuries is important, whenever doing so is possible. Seeking legal guidance in the event of an injury – or in the event that someone’s working conditions are so dangerous that they should be reported – is too often a very, very good idea.