Worker's compensation is the general term for the reimbursement of benefits and lost wages that covers many potential risks in the workplace, but is especially necessary in a warehouse environment. While there are many rules and regulations in place to ensure the safest work environments possible, accidents can and do occur often. Sometimes the fault is clearly that of the employer; other times, it is not so easily determined and may include many potential variables to consider.
The following are the most common safety hazards facing warehouse workers today:
Lack of awareness of surroundings
- Falls, slips, and trips are the most common causes of warehouse worker injuries. These occur due to both the lack of awareness and improperly marked hazards. Examples include spills of loose material or liquid, displaced inventory, and lack of guard railings. In these instances, fault can be difficult to determine as each side has the potential for plausible deniability.
Ill-Equipped safety measures
- One of the most preventable causes of warehouse disasters are fires. When this type of emergency situation is unable to be contained by either an absent sprinkler system and/or fire extinguishers, it can quickly lead to severe injury or death. Furthermore, building codes dictate that all buildings must include well-lit exit signs and post emergency evacuation strategies. If any or all of these are missing, there may be additional opportunity to seek reimbursement due to the resulting personal injury on the job.
Heavy equipment and lack of safety education
- Warehouses usually contain several types of heavy machinery, and if used properly, they can greatly increase workplace efficiency. However, sometimes a worker may know safety measures but be so comfortable operating the machine that they forget to follow them, or they may not be adequately trained to operate the machine. Both instances could result in one of the 100 deaths or over 95,000 injuries per year, due to being crushed, falling inventory, or any other loss of mechanical control. Employers should perform routine checks to ensure proper safe handling of equipment is being maintained at all times.
In each of the preceding examples, it is always best to consult with a qualified attorney who will investigate and expose every aspect of a case to maximize a worker's recovery of benefits and damages. With over 25 years of experience defending employees' rights in Pennsylvania, the Law Offices of Katherine L. Niven & Associates are focused and dedicated to ensuring their clients receive the most out of their worker's compensation coverage.