According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, over 1.2 million people are employed in warehousing and storage jobs. This includes:
- industrial truck and tractor operators,
- laborers and freight, stock and material movers,
- shipping, receiving and traffic clerks,
- stock clerks, order fillers and more.
People who work in these professions throughout Indiana are at risk of injury from a variety of accidents and work-related experiences. Some of the most common warehouse injuries include the following:
Forklift Accident Injuries
The most common forklift accidents are rollovers that happen when the driver fails to properly navigate uneven terrain and falls from or hits by moving forklifts. These accidents can result in the injury of the driver and other employees in the area. Some of the injuries that can occur as a result of forklift accidents include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries
- Trauma to appendages or joints
Any one of these can result in mounting medical bills, the loss of wages, and the future ability to earn and income.
Severe cuts and lacerations
The tools and machines used in warehouses can be dangerous if not used properly. Trimmers, saws, knives and other blades, if not handled safely, can cause severe cuts or lacerations. If management has failed to provide proper training, adequate protection, and ongoing maintenance, the injuries incurred from cutting equipment may be the fault of the employer or a third party.
Overexertion or repetitive use injuries
Many warehouse jobs involve heavy lifting and repetitive motion. These activities can result in injuries to the neck, lower back, shoulders, hands and feet. They can occur when staff is poorly trained in proper lifting/moving procedures or are required to meet unmanageable pace expectations. Some of the possible injuries from overexertion or repetitive use can be:
- Cervical or lumbar injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ganglion cysts
Unsafe conditions and human error in warehouses can contribute to accidents from falling objects. Injuries from these types of accidents can be severe. Workers who have been hit by falling objects have sustained injuries such as concussions, herniated discs, rotator cuff tears, and more.
Slips and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are common in the workplace, especially in the construction industry. Over 25,000 fall accidents result in death each year, and falls from heights are the leading cause of fatalities in construction. Slip and fall accidents range from slipping and falling on a slick surface to falling off of scaffolding or a rooftop.
Fall hazards are present at many warehouses and these workers are exposed to potential injuries every day. A fall hazard is anything that could cause you to lose your balance or support and result in a fall. Any walking or working surface at a warehouse could be a potential fall hazard.
Toxic fumes and loud noises
Some warehouse jobs run the risk of inhaling toxic fumes or damage to hearing as a result of loud noises. While these injuries are not immediately recognized, they can occur over time and can be the result of a failure to protect workers from continuous and dangerous exposure to certain chemicals or repetitive loud noise.