Warehouses rank among some of the most dangerous workplaces. National statistics show that worker fatalities in the warehousing industry are higher than the average for all industries. Warehouses have a number of hazards for workers, including forklifts, heavy boxes or products, and high shelving. 

Common Causes of Warehouse Accidents

Some of the most frequent causes of warehouse accidents and worker injuries include:

  • Forklifts, including injuries to forklift operators when the vehicle overturns, or injuries to bystanders who are impacted, run over, or crushed by a moving forklift
  • Falls, including falling from loading docks, scissor lifts or cherry pickers, or from other heights
  • Falling objects, including products that fall from high shelves, or the collapse of shelving
  • Lack of safety features on equipment such as conveyors, which may result in workers getting caught or trapped in moving machinery parts
  • Exposure to toxic or hazardous chemicals and substances
  • Repetitive motion injuries, which are caused when workers perform the same physical motions over and over again for an extended period
  • Overexertion, which can lead to injuries, especially when it causes workers to begin using poor lifting techniques and ergonomics when performing the tasks of their job

How Can Warehouse Worker Injuries Be Prevented?

Warehouse operators and workers can take steps to help reduce the risk of accidents and worker injuries. Some features recommended by organizations such as OSHA to help prevent warehouse worker injuries include:

  • Making sure all ramps, loading docks, stairs, and ladders meet OSHA requirements
  • Ensuring that any worker who uses a forklift has been properly trained and certified
  • Performing regular inspections of equipment and machinery, installing guards and other safety features to avoid crush or entanglement accidents
  • Protecting all potential fall hazards with covers or guardrails
  • Storing heavier items on lower shelves
  • Ensuring items are stacked evenly
  • Training employees on proper lifting techniques
  • Providing workers with regular rest breaks
  • Providing appropriate safety or personal protective equipment, and giving workers powered equipment to perform lifting whenever possible
  • Establishing evacuation procedures and ensuring that the warehouse has sufficient emergency exits
  • Installing fire extinguishers or fire suppression systems, eyewash stations, and safety showers
  • Imposing speed limits for forklifts and other motorized vehicles used in the warehouse, and railing off forklift paths from worker areas

What Are Your Rights If You Were Injured in a Warehouse Accident?

If you are a warehouse worker who was injured on the job, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries through the workers’ compensation system established under New Jersey law. State law requires employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, which can pay you financial benefits for an on-the-job injury, regardless of who may have been at fault for an employee’s injury. These financial benefits include:

  • Payment for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment and physical rehabilitation
  • Partial wage replacement if you miss work or suffer reduced income while recovering from injury
  • Disability benefits, if injuries result in permanent disabilities
  • Vocational rehabilitation to help train workers in a new job within their medical limitations
  • Death benefits for the immediately family and dependents of a worker who passes away due to a work-related injury or illness

Contact a Rochelle Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case

A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients in Mahwah, Paramus, Ridgewood, Englewood, and all across New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.