What are the Most Common North Carolina Warehouse and Distribution Center Accidents and Injuries?
Our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys at Waple & Houk, PLLC understand our North Carolina warehouse and distribution workers’ daily challenges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about one in 20 warehouse workers will experience an injury in a given year. Last year, the number of injuries and illnesses in transportation and warehousing increased from 206,900 to 253,100 nationwide.
Here, we discuss some of the most common types of accidents and injuries in these vital workplaces and how injured workers can seek the medical and financial help they need from their employers’ workers’ compensation coverage.
How Do Worker Injuries Occur in Warehouses and Distribution Centers in North Carolina?
Warehouses and distribution centers are dynamic environments with various activities, heavy equipment, and materials handling. Unfortunately, this complexity can lead to accidents and injuries.
Common types of warehouse and distribution center accidents and injuries include:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slippery floors, uneven surfaces, and cluttered walkways contribute to slips, trips, and falls. These accidents can result in sprains, strains, fractures, or head injuries.
- Forklift Accidents
Forklifts are widely used in warehouses, and accidents can occur due to collisions, overturns, or improper operation. Injuries may range from minor bruises to more severe crush injuries.
- Falling Objects
Items stored at height can fall and cause injuries. This risk is exceptionally high in rack storage areas. Proper stacking, securing loads, and using safety measures can help mitigate this hazard.
- Manual Handling Injuries
Manual lifting, carrying, or moving heavy objects can lead to musculoskeletal injuries, such as strains and sprains. Training on proper lifting techniques and mechanical aids can reduce these injuries.
- Conveyor Belt Accidents
Conveyor belts are common in distribution centers, and accidents can happen if workers get caught or entangled in the moving parts. Adequate guarding and safety measures are essential.
- Machine Entanglement
Workers may be at risk of getting clothing or body parts caught in machinery, leading to severe injuries or amputations. Proper machine guarding and safety protocols are crucial.
- Loading Dock Accidents
Loading docks are busy areas where accidents can occur during the loading and unloading of trucks. Typical incidents include slips, falls, and collisions with equipment.
- Electrical Accidents
Warehouses have various electrical equipment, and accidents can happen due to faulty wiring, electrical malfunctions, or improper use of equipment. Electrical shocks and burns are potential risks.
- Chemical Exposures
Warehouses may store or handle hazardous chemicals. Accidents such as spills or improper handling can result in chemical exposures, leading to burns, respiratory issues, or other health problems.
- Collisions and Struck-By Incidents
Collisions between vehicles, equipment, or workers can lead to injuries. Struck-by incidents, where workers are hit by moving objects or equipment, are also common and can cause serious harm.
- Inadequate Training
Lack of proper training on equipment operation, safety procedures, and emergency protocols can contribute to various warehouse accidents and injuries.
- Fire Hazards
Warehouses may store flammable materials, and the risk of fires is present. Inadequate fire prevention measures, such as improper storage or electrical issues, can lead to fires with severe consequences.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries
Workers involved in repetitive tasks, such as order picking or packing, may develop repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Employers should prioritize safety measures, provide comprehensive training, enforce proper protocols, and regularly assess and improve safety procedures to mitigate the risks of accidents and injuries in warehouses and distribution centers.
Additionally, promoting a safety culture and encouraging employee involvement in identifying and addressing potential hazards is essential for maintaining a safe working environment. When they fail to do so, workers will continue to get hurt.
Contact Our Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Charlotte Today
If you have been hurt while working in a warehouse or distribution in North Carolina, contact our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys in Charlotte today by phone at (704)-954-8697 or schedule a free consultation online to learn more about how we can help you pursue the best outcome for your injury claim.