Warehouse Workers Often Face Unsafe Working Conditions
A Pennsylvania Warehouse Injury Lawyer Discusses the Dangers
Warehouses in the Lehigh Valley and throughout Pennsylvania attract tens of thousands of workers who are hired to perform a variety of jobs. The work sometimes includes lifting heavy loads, operating forklifts, doing repetitive tasks, and potentially getting exposed to hazardous substances.
Facing a high demand during the holiday season, companies such as Amazon and Walmart seek workers to help with jobs that include lifting heavy items and working from heights.
According to a letter sent by public health practitioners: “In the past, injuries among Amazon workers increased dramatically during ‘peak times’ like the holiday season and Amazon’s Prime Day.”
The Hill reports that workplace safety for workers at warehouses and doing deliveries has long been an issue. Amazon reported more than 24,000 injuries on average per year among its workforce. COVID-19 has also posed a risk to those working in warehouses.
Why Do Warehouse Accidents Happen?
The Hill article notes that critics of Amazon’s practices say steep work quotas and insufficient protections lead to high injury rates and the spread of disease at company warehouses. There are several common types of warehouse accidents. They include, but are not limited to:
- Lifting or carrying heavy loads
- Forklift crashes
- Falling objects
- Slip and falls
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Fires and explosions
- Exposure to hazardous substances
What Are Common Warehouse Worker Injuries?
Injuries to workers in warehouses can be serious and life-threatening. They include:
- Back injuries that can lead to lower back pain, chronic back pain, and immobility
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries that may cause partial or permanent paralysis
- Amputation of fingers, toes, and limbs
- Burn injuries that may require surgery
- Permanent disfigurement
- Hearing loss and tinnitus
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Respiratory illnesses from exposure to hazardous substances or infectious diseases such as COVID-19
An Attorney Can Look Out for Your Best Interests
A warehouse accident can lead to hospitalization, emergency surgery, prescription medication, physical therapy, and a seemingly endless number of doctor appointments. The medical bills related to the accident can also add up quickly.
After a work accident, you should seek immediate medical attention and continue to follow up with a doctor. You should notify your manager as soon as possible and make sure the accident is documented. Your employer must file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Serious warehouse accidents can become complicated, and the workers' compensation process can get complicated. Your employer or the insurance company may argue you should return to work before you are ready. In some cases, they may say the injury happened outside of work.
In warehouse accidents, a third party (someone other than the employer) might also have been negligent. For example, equipment might be defective and cause an injury. In such cases, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim in addition to the workers’ compensation claim.
To ensure you get the compensation and benefits you deserve, contact an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer from our law firm. We have offices in Allentown and Bethlehem, and we proudly serve clients throughout Lehigh Valley.