The work of the average warehouse employee involves inventory management, packaging orders, handling bulk materials, arranging transportation, and loading shipments onto trunks. Unfortunately, even though warehouse employees have a very important role in the overall economy, many still face serious risks and safety hazards at the workplace. Each year, many are injured and even killed on the job.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 16 warehouse industry fatalities in 2011. For every 100 full-time warehouse employees, there were about 5.5 injuries on-the-job, according to the BLS. Some of the biggest safety hazards faced by warehouse workers include:
- Forklift accidents - Accidents involving forklifts are the most common cause of injuries and deaths in the workplace. Both forklifts ridden by operators and forklifts controlled by remote operators pose a huge safety hazard to warehouse workers. In many cases, the forklift overturns accidentally and crushes the warehouse workers. Forklifts can also injure or kill warehouse workers during unloading and loading.
- Overexertion injuries - Many warehouse workers suffer from overexertion injuries due to overstressing the body. When a warehouse employee tries to lift an object that is too heavy, injuries can occur. The shoulders and back are the body parts most affected by overexertion injuries. However, other body parts can be injured as well. Carrying, pushing, and pulling all cause overexertion injuries.
- Truck accidents - Some warehouses provide transportation services. Warehouse employees who drive trucks to move materials can suffer injuries or death by becoming involved in an accident.
What should you do after a warehouse injury?
Unfortunately, working in a warehouse is a dangerous occupation and injuries and even fatalities are not uncommon. If you or a loved one gets injured on the job, here is information about your options for compensation or benefits.
- Workers' compensation benefits - In North Carolina, workers' compensation is an exclusive and strict liability remedy system. Therefore, you can't file a lawsuit against your employer. Your only option is to make a work-injury claim against the employer if you want compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. Fortunately, this will prove to be a great advantage for you because you won't need to prove the wrongdoing of your employer.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit - Due to exclusive remedy rules, you won't be able to sue your employer. However, if a third-party was to blame for the injury or death, you can file a lawsuit against the third-party. You will be able to seek monetary compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
If you or a loved one was injured on-the-job in a warehouse, you need all the help that you can get to ensure you get the compensation and justice you deserve. An attorney from Parker & Frey, PLLC can ensure that you receive all compensation due to you under the law.