Warehouse Injuries and Accidents
A warehouse at any given point in time is a busy workplace with people, machinery, and equipment in constant operation. Injury risks are present at every stage of warehouse operations.
It’s not just the retail or distribution industry that needs large warehouses for storage purposes. Many industries need storage facilities, and warehouses fill that need. As a result, the warehousing industry employs thousands of workers who must be trained not only to do their jobs efficiently, but also to avoid the risks that are present daily in the workplace.
A typical warehousing environment will include several pieces of heavy industrial equipment, including tractors, trucks, forklifts and cranes. These vehicles are used for loading and unloading activities and transportation, several times a day. Pedestrian workers involved in loading and unloading activities on tractors and forklifts may be at risk when they are involved in a collision with these vehicles. Workers may be injured from falling loads or boxes of cargo that come loose and collapse on them.
A typical warehouse will also use large industrial strength conveyor belts and mechanical handling systems for transportation purposes, and this machinery must also be handled with great care. Workers must be trained in the right procedures to handle such equipment without injuries.
Some of the more serious warehouse-related injuries are amputations that are caused when workers’ limbs get caught in machinery or are severely injured as a result of being crushed under falling loads or falling forklifts. Forklift tip overs are fairly common in the workplace and can be attributed to operating errors or malfunctions. In any forklift tip over, it’s not just the operator of the forklift who is at risk of injury, but also pedestrian workers who are around the forklift.
Prevention of injuries in warehouses depends very strongly on good worker training. Pedestrian workers must be encouraged and trained to recognize safety hazards when they’re walking around forklift trucks in operation. Workers must be trained to execute loading and unloading operations carefully, minimizing the risk of injury. Mechanisms to secure cargo must be properly maintained and all heavy industrial equipment used in a warehouse must function properly. Areas that are being used by forklifts and mobile mechanical handling systems must be cleared of all pedestrian workers.
Peter Ventura is a Massachusetts workplace injury lawye, helping workers who have been injured in warehouse accidents and other workplace accidents across Massachusetts recover compensation for their injuries.