3 Most Common Workers’ Comp Injuries for Warehouse Jobs
E-commerce is growing at a tremendous rate and as a result, the demand for warehouse workers is growing just as rapidly. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently over 960,000 warehouse workers in the United States. The bulk of these employees work as laborers: freight stockers, material movers and handlers, forklift operators, and truck drivers. Warehouse workers perform many physically demanding tasks and warehouse jobs usually involve heavy machinery. This combination usually creates an environment where an employee has a higher likelihood of sustaining a workplace injury. Whether your position is full-time, part-time, or temporary, your employer must provide workers’ comp coverage under California law.
These are the 3 most common workers’ comp injuries you may experience in a warehouse job:
1. Forklift Accidents
Most warehouse jobs involve the use of forklifts, otherwise known as powered industrial trucks (PITs). These machines make loading and unloading semi-trailers or moving heavy material in a warehouse easier. However, they also come with an increased chance of injury for those working around them.
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) statistics, there are almost 35,000 forklift accidents that result in a serious injury every year in the United States. Forklifts also cause 10% of all work-related injuries. Most injuries related to forklifts in warehouse jobs occur when the machine flips over or an employee falls from the forklift.
2. Slips and Falls
Warehouses and distribution centers often have many slip and fall hazards. There may be loose equipment or wiring that employees can trip over. Cardboard boxes on the floor or spills can also create a hazardous environment. Even with the best precautions, slip and fall accidents may occur in warehouse jobs. A fall on the job may not seem severe, but the consequences can be serious. Falls are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can lead to high medical costs and long recovery times. This can happen even with falls that initially seem minor. If you suffer a slip and fall while on the job, you should be examined by a medical professional, and you should seek workers’ compensation if appropriate.
3. Overexertion/Repetitive Strain
Workers’ compensation injuries are not always the result of accidents. Warehouse jobs often involve repetitive motion or lifting heavy objects. Both can lead to injury over time. Overexertion/repetitive strain injuries are any type of issue that is a result of repeating the same motion or putting too much stress on your body. For example: back, wrist or knee problems are often the result of overexertion/repetitive motion.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that those who work in warehouse jobs are up to eight times as likely to suffer a back injury. The heavy lifting of boxes is one of the main causes of this. Although using proper lifting techniques can reduce risk, many warehouse workers still end up with back injuries.
If you are one of the many people working in a warehouse, you may experience any one of these injuries. Medical expenses for an injury on the job should not be your responsibility. Under California law, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries sustained during work. If you want to get the benefits you deserve, the Law Offices of Bo Katzakian can help. Our experienced workman’s comp attorneys will help you with every step of the way. Call us today so we can fight for you!