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Common work injury hazards found in warehouse environments

| Dec 17, 2014 | Personal Injury

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, warehouses are among the most common environments for workplace injuries. Manually lifting heavy packages and operating warehouse equipment all come with some kind of injury risk. . Warehouse workers who are injured on the job in Illinois may be entitled to workers’ compensation.

Repetitive motion or poor technique

A common source of injury for many warehouse workers is performing relatively ordinary, simple tasks hour by hour and day after day. For example, a person who is bending and lifting heavy boxes all day, is adding undue stress on muscles, tendons and joints. If the person is not bending or lifting correctly, the poor technique can heighten their risk of injury.

Strain injuries occur when joints, ligaments, nerves and tendons suffer damage. Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration shows that repetitive motion and improper lifting are common precursors to strain injuries among warehouse workers.

Illinois employers striving to mitigate injury risks to warehouse workers could enforce a consistent rotation among worker tasks, which might lower the risk of repetitive motion injuries. Additionally, employers could require periodic training that demonstrates proper lifting techniques. Doing so might lower the probability of lifting injuries through lessening the strain placed on backs, shoulders and necks.

Forklift injuries

Forklifts can be a work-injury hazard if not operated properly. According to OSHA, forklifts cause 95,000 injuries per year and around 100 deaths. Employers must ensure that those who are operating these machines are properly trained. Furthermore, employers should check and make sure that the design of their warehouse accommodates the necessary maneuvering of forklifts.

Conveyor belt injuries

Many warehouses rely on conveyor belts to sort and track the items they are storing. These machines can be a source of injury if they are not maintained and inspected properly. Workers can get caught in what is called a pinch point, if they are not careful. Overloaded conveyor belts can lead to injury when objects fall onto workers. Employers should take time to inspect the conveyors and make sure that employees are properly trained on how to work with them.

Legal help

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act entitles workers who sustain injuries out of the course of employment to funds covering damages such as lost wages and medical costs. Warehouse workers in Illinois who have sustained an injury in the workplace may wish to consult with an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney.