When your employer hired you to work in a Missouri warehouse or distribution center, you probably went through a series of training sessions before you could work on the floor. Certainly, you could not operate a forklift until you had completed your certification and training. From the very beginning of your employment, you understood the potential dangers of warehouse work.
If your employer is prudent and diligent, he or she continues to update your training and provide the safest possible environment for you and your co-workers. Nevertheless, the job can be dangerous. Even with the most conscientious co-workers, every day places you at risk of injury. It only takes one moment of carelessness or distraction to result in a warehouse injury.
What risks do you face?
Overexertion is the most frequent warehouse injury. If you lift something that is too heavy or use improper form, the results can be debilitating. Trying to carry too much, tossing heavy items, or pushing and pulling can put tremendous strain on your body. Although this is the most common workplace injury, you still face other hazards at your warehouse job, including:
- Falls, which can be catastrophic if they occur from a great height, such as the extended forks of your lift or a high shelf
- Exposure to chemicals, including flammable substances and those known to cause cancer
- Falling objects, especially since you may deal with product stacked high above your head
- Fires, which occur in over a thousand warehouses each year and cost the lives of dozens of workers
- Ground level falls from slipping or tripping, which are more likely if the warehouse is not neat, clean and organized
Forklift accidents account for thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths in warehouses each year. These are heavy, dangerous pieces of equipment that require thorough training to operate. While forklifts may seem small, they are extremely heavy and can cause serious or fatal injuries if not properly handled.
Your employer should provide you with everything you need to remain safe on the job. This includes adequate training and appropriate personal safety equipment. Still, you may find yourself dealing with an injury that prevents you from working while you recover. Dealing with workers’ compensation can be an added burden at a difficult time. Many employees find it helpful to reach out to an attorney who can assist them in obtaining the benefits they need and deserve.