More than 145,000 people work in warehouses in Georgia and around the country according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and figures from the workplace safety agency reveal that they are more likely to be killed while on the job than workers in other industries. Warehouse workers may lose their lives or suffer injuries when forklift trucks are used recklessly or heavy products are stacked precariously, but this kind of accident may be prevented by comprehensive safety training, regular inspections and diligent oversight.
Performing timely inspections of forklift trucks and other equipment used to move heavy loads can prevent workplace injuries and is required by OSHA. Employers should pay particular attention to hydraulic fluid levels as leaks can cause these machines to fail without warning. The proper training of drivers is also important because forklifts can become extremely unstable in certain situations. According to OSHA, a significant number of warehouse accidents are caused by forklift trucks that overturned.
Warehouse workers are often under pressure to perform their tasks quickly so that orders can be fulfilled in a timely manner, but this can encourage them to take shortcuts or engage in other reckless behavior. OSHA urges employers to mitigate these risks by familiarizing their workers with the latest safety regulations and ensuring that these rules are properly enforced.
Those who suffer workplace injuries are sometimes worried that their claims for compensation will be denied if they acted negligently or violated safety regulations. Workers compensation claims are evaluated based on whether the injury or illness involved is job-related, but exceptions may be made when workers have refused to use the protective equipment provided by their employers or willfully disregarded safety protocols. In these situations, attorneys with experience in workers compensation cases might argue that employers encouraged such behavior by supplying ill-fitting or inappropriate equipment or not adequately enforcing OSHA regulations.
Source: OSHA, Worker Safety Series-Warehousing