Warehouse employees do a lot of hard work. Not only are warehousing tasks physically demanding, but they come with a unique risk of severe injuries and death. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the warehousing industry has a higher rate of fatal injuries than the national average across all industries.
If you or someone you know works in a warehouse, it is important to understand the causes of these injuries. Keep reading for an overview of the top workplace hazards facing warehouse workers.
1. Forklift accidents
Workers regularly use forklifts in warehouses to move and organize various objects. OSHA states that 95,000 employees suffer injuries each year while using forklifts. Most of these accidents occur when forklifts topple over. Employees must have thorough training and certification before operating a forklift. Improper loading procedures can cause a forklift to fall over.
2. Fall injuries
Warehouse floors are often wet or slippery due to cleaning or spills. There are also often empty containers, excess inventory and pallets lying around that create tripping hazards. If warehouses have poor lighting, employees may have a difficult time avoiding such hazards. Workers can also fall from ladders or loading docks.
Sometimes warehouse workers put too much stress on their bodies. One of the most common causes of overexertion injuries is heavy lifting. This can injure the back, shoulders and neck. Workers should receive ergonomics training and assistance when needed.
4. Loading dock injuries
A lot of action happens at loading docks. If a forklift runs off the edge, equipment hits an employee or products fall onto an employee, injuries can easily occur. All aspects of the dock, including stairs and ladders, must meet OSHA requirements.
If someone suffers an injury like this at work, it can lead to lost income and high medical bills. It could even result in death.