Unsafe loading docks — the source of many workplace injuries


Employers in California’s warehousing industry have the task of providing safe work environments for their employees. Loading docks are areas that pose a variety of safety hazards and preventing workplace injuries in these areas requires both environmental and engineering solutions. Furthermore, adequate safety training is crucial.

Safe lifting and carrying techniques can prevent back injuries, cuts and bruises. However, placing heavy objects without the necessary care can cause crushed fingers. Injuries caused by slips, trips and falls in the loading dock can be serious. Good housekeeping to eliminate wet, greasy spots and randomly placed objects is essential.

Forklift accidents are frequently occurring incidents that can range from pedestrian workers being struck by the vehicle, or even being crushed between the forklift and another object. Poorly loaded and unbalanced loads can topple over from the forklift and land on other workers. A significant risk involves forklifts being driven over the edge of the loading dock ramp, often leading to crushed or fractured bones and even catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries.

Poorly ventilated loading areas pose risks of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal. This could happen if truck operators leave the engines of their vehicles running. While the ideal situation would be a loading dock in which all safety hazards are mitigated or addressed, the opposite is the sad reality. Fortunately, California workers who suffered workplace injuries can file workers’ compensation benefits claims. The process could be daunting, but an attorney who is experienced in this field of the law can simplify the benefits claims process in pursuit of maximum applicable benefits.

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