When you first see the inner workings of a large warehouse, it can sometimes seem pretty crazy. There are so many things going on at once that it looks like an active beehive.
There are so many moving parts, such as conveyor belts transferring products, forklifts of all shapes and sizes carrying huge stacks of boxes, trucks unloading and loading, and people walking everywhere.
With so much going on, a warehouse can be a dangerous place. With hundreds of warehouses in Minnesota employing tens of thousands of workers, there are many work-related warehouse injuries every year.
These injuries can be quite significant, causing workers lost time from work, permanent disability, or even death.
If you have suffered a serious warehouse injury, you need skilled and knowledgeable Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers fighting for your rights and the benefits you deserve.
Truck Loading Dock Accidents
Loading dock accidents in warehouses are quite common. The loading dock is usually the only place in the warehouse that is open to the weather and elements. This can be a recipe for disaster, especially during inclement weather.
Slips and falls on wet, frozen, and slick dock areas are a common warehouse accident. These falls can cause knee injuries, broken arms, back injuries, and shoulder rotator cuff tears.
Another area of concern with loading docks is when workers are run over by tractor-trailers or backed over when the semi-truck drivers are backing into the bay areas.
It’s a very loud working environment and difficult for a dock worker to hear the truck approaching, especially when the 18-wheeler’s engine is 70 feet away.
In many warehouses, products are shelved high in the air, sometimes as high as a three-story building. In a large distribution warehouse, for example, there could be several hundred thousand products stored in and shipped from the building every day.
With all these stacked boxes, there is always the risk of falling product. One of the major causes of traumatic brain warehouse injuries is when improperly stacked boxes and products fall onto unsuspecting warehouse workers.
Despite the Minnesota state and federal requirement for robust training of forklift drivers, forklift accidents are a common occurrence in the warehouse industry.
Most warehouses use different types of forklifts that are different sizes and can perform different tasks. Some forklifts can weigh the same as a large passenger truck. That is why a forklift hits or runs over a warehouse worker, it could cause serious injuries.
Lack of Safety Barriers
One way to keep people from walking into areas that are unsafe is to physically prevent them. Sometimes rules and warning signs are not enough to keep people from going into dangerous areas of the warehouse.
Warehouse workers are busy and may not pay attention to a warning sign. More physical barriers mean less warehouse injuries.
If there is a ledge or the end of a loading dock or an intersection where there is a lot of forklift traffic, those areas should be blocked off from easy access.
Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals
Chemical exposure is one type of warehouse injury that can cause significant injuries to a workers’ lungs.
Depending on what type of products are being stored in the warehouse, extra precaution and care should be used in the handling and storage of chemicals and substances.
Lack of Proper Training
As with any type of job, better-trained employees are usually the safest. This notion is very important in preventing warehouse accidents.
In some cases, warehouse employers rush through employee training, especially with safety protocols, just to get the worker on the warehouse floor and perform work as quickly as possible.
Lax training will eventually increase warehouse accidents and injuries. For example, merely teaching someone how to properly lift heavy boxes can prevent a significant number of back injuries.
Common Warehouse Injuries
These are the most common warehouse injuries we see in our Minnesota workers’ compensation practice:
- Crush injuries in the feet and legs due to being run over by forklifts;
- Lower back injuries like pulled muscles and herniated discs from improper lifting techniques;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), such as concussions, closed head injuries, and fractured skulls from falling objects;
- Amputations, shoulder dislocations, and torn rotator cuff injuries due to dangerous and unguarded machines like conveyor systems and sorting machines;
- Extremity injuries from slips and falls;
- COPD and other lung injuries from chemical exposure; and
- Hearing loss due to excessive warehouse noise.
Many of these injuries are easily preventable with simple safety protocols and proper employee training.
The Minnesota Warehouse Injury Lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka Are Here to Help with Your St. Paul Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you have suffered from a Minnesota warehouse injury, you are entitled to have your medical bills and lost wages paid. Warehouse accidents can cause very serious injuries and lead to disabilities that may persist for many years or even be permanent.
You need an experienced St. Paul Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer on your side fighting for your rights. Our lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of Minnesota workers’ compensation cases.
Contact us online or call Arechigo & Stokka at 651-505-5943 for a free consultation to learn more about the services we provide to injured warehouse workers in Minnesota.