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How can Common Warehouse Accidents be Prevented?

warehouse accidents

Warehouses can be prone to accidents because they are usually large areas where heavy stock is constantly being moved about.  Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has many rules in place to ensure warehouse safety, employers can concentrate on a few areas to avoid most accidents.

Some of the most common accidents in warehouses include the following:

  • Slip and fall accidents. Employers can be thoughtful about the flooring that is present in the warehouse. Although polished concrete floors may be the best choice for heavy equipment, they can become dangerously slippery if there is a spill or if rain or snow is tracked into the warehouse by the regular vehicle or pedestrian traffic.  Floors can also become slippery in case of a flood or an unexpected discharge of the sprinkler system, which can happen on occasion, especially if there is accidental forklift damage to the sprinkler system.   Employers should consider installing non-slip surfaces in warehouses.  This will decrease the possibility of employees slipping and falling while in the warehouse.   Non-slip flooring is important when considering that ladders are also regularly used in the warehouse, and non-slip flooring could also prevent forklift accidents in case a forklift is accidentally driven over a slippery area.
  • Forklift accidents. This can be prevented with general forklift safety. Forklift safety can be carried out with a multitude of strategies.  First, there should be a routine in the warehouse that everyone follows regarding the proper use of forklifts.  That routine should include a calendar of inspections of the forklifts, training, and refresher trainings.  Additionally, employees should be involved in determining which safety precautions are necessary in the specific warehouse.  A periodic safety check-in for forklift operators and pedestrians who work around forklifts should be conducted.  It may be necessary to determine the flow of forklift traffic and make certain areas one-way and implement stop signs to ensure that forklift operators are not rounding corners in an unexpected way and at high speeds.
  • Falling objects. Stacking inventory properly is an important part of warehouse safety. Workers must be trained to put heavier objects at the bottom and lighter objects at the top. Also, pallets must be wrapped properly.  Where objects are oddly shaped, there should be a consensus on how to stack those objects.  Workers should never be left to wonder how to stack inventory.   Workers must also pay special attention to cylindrical objects when stacking, since they may have more of a tendency to become unstable than square or rectangular objects.
  • Repetitive strains. Workers in a warehouse may be performing the same motions repeatedly. Where possible, employers should install ergonomic equipment or provide the equipment for workers to wear to reduce repetitive stress injuries that employees can incur while working in a warehouse.

West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can Help if You Have Been Injured on the Job in a Warehouse

Warehouse accidents can happen even where employers have taken many precautions, since there are many moving parts, people, and heavy equipment all in one space.  If you have been involved in a workplace accident, whether it is in a warehouse or another location, the West Chester Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can help you collect Workers’ Compensation.  We can also help determine if you have additional claims against your employer if proper safety protocols were not followed. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.