Warehouse Safety HazardsMay 23, 2018
Warehouse workers face a wide range of hazards, some of which might seem obvious, and others that might surprise you. Any job that involves a lot of heavy lifting, exposure to potentially harmful substances, and operating equipment like forklifts and other machinery means that workers are at risk of serious, potentially life-threatening injuries every day.
Oftentimes, it is the unexpected hazards that can be the most dangerous.
The following are some of the hazards that warehouse workers are exposed to everyday:
- Operating heavy equipment: When workers get comfortable with operating a particular machine, they may become overconfident and forget about how dangerous the equipment can be. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every month, two workers are crushed to death by some type of heavy equipment. Proper training is essential when it comes to operating heavy equipment.
- Slips and falls: Spilled liquids, sawdust, and naturally slick surfaces can cause workers to slip and fall. Although falls from high places can be particularly serious, even falls on a flat surface can cause injuries if the worker lands in a way that injures the back, neck, or head. Floor surfaces should be kept clean, dry, and free of anything that could cause a worker to trip.
- Bodily strain: Workers should be trained on proper lifting techniques to avoid certain workplace injuries. Ergonomic equipment can also help prevent injuries resulting from repetitive lifting, bending, twisting, and stretching.
- Fires: This is not one of the most common hazards, but it is one of the most devastating when it does occur. Fortunately, fires are largely preventable. Employers should conduct fire drills and make sure that all workers know where the emergency exits are located. There should also be multiple fire extinguishers in various locations in the warehouse.
- Hazardous substances: Harmful materials like asbestos can cause serious health issues when employees are exposed over a period of time.
- Falling objects: Large, heavy items are often stacked on high shelves in warehouses. If an object moves or shifts, it can fall, striking an employee who is on the main floor. This can be avoided by stacking items as neatly as possible.
- Moving machine parts: Large machines with extremely sharp moving parts can be dangerous if the right safety precautions are not followed. Warning labels should be placed in prominent locations, and staff should be trained on a regular basis.
- Loading docks: Warehouse loading docks are extremely busy, with forklifts carrying materials to the loading dock or a truck, employees loading and unloading cargo, and workers checking inventory. It is crucial that all workers be dressed in bright clothing, and that drivers pay close attention to their surroundings.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Warehouse Workers
If you work in a warehouse and have been injured on the job, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We are committed to protecting the rights of injured workers and securing the maximum financial benefits that you are entitled to receive. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.