There’s no doubt that working in a warehouse can be hazardous. There is often heavy machinery around and a lot of complex activity going on. As with any business, however, your employer has a legal duty of care to ensure that things are as safe as possible where you work.
The injuries we see as a result of someone operating in a warehouse range from relatively minor to life-threatening and life-changing. You might be surprised to learn that 144 people lost their lives in warehouse accidents between 2015 and 2016.
Trips and Falls
By far the most common type of accident you see in an area like a busy warehouse is a trip or fall. These places often have high stacking shelves where products are piled up on top of each other and it’s easy to sustain an injury if care isn’t taking. To claim compensation, however, there needs to be negligence proved on the part of the owner.
This can take many forms. An area of the warehouse may not be lit adequately enough increasing the potential for an accident to occur. Spills on the floor of the warehouse could make surfaces slippery. Simple things like loose electrical cords under the flooring or boxes placed in the way can also cause accidents.
Forklift Truck Accidents
Most warehouses use forklift trucks and these can cause quite serious accidents. You need to be appropriately trained to operate this kind of machinery.
If someone unqualified is driving and causes an accident, this is the responsibility of the owner. Protocols for using forklifts in specific areas (for example, cordoning off the area to foot traffic) are also essential. Other accidents we see are caused by speeding because staff are subject to tight deadlines and there have also been situations where loads weren’t placed on the forklift properly.
Accidents involving forklift trucks are rarer than trips and falls but they do happen regularly enough to make them a problem in the industry.
Other Common Accidents
Other common injuries we see in warehouses are back problems because of lifting heavy weights, objects falling off shelves and hitting people, employees exposed to harmful substances such as toxic chemicals, and racking accidents.
What to Do If You Have Suffered a Warehouse Accident
If you have been injured in an accident at a warehouse, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible. Any reputable business, will have a way of monitoring accidents and noting them down for risk assessments.
If you think that your employer was negligent and their action or inaction led to your accident, you can potentially claim for compensation. This can help you afford medical care, make up for the loss of earnings and provide assistance to update your home if you have been left with a disability or long-term problems.
It’s essential to seek the advice of a qualified personal injury lawyer that has experience of dealing with warehouse accident claims. They will give you a free initial consultation and tell you whether you have a case or not. They can also offer what is called a no win no fee service. That means they’ll take on your case without charging upfront fees. Their costs are taken out of your final compensation payment, but only if the claim is successful through the court.