Preventing Warehousing and Storage Work Injuries

Warehousing and storage is a rapidly growing and fast-paced sector. Due to the physical nature of moving goods and products, employees are at risk of many different types of work injuries.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5.5 recordable cases per 100 full-time workers in the sector in 2022. 4.7 cases per 100 full-time workers resulted in time away from work, job restrictions, or transfers. Warehousing injuries also resulted in 28 fatalities in Indiana in 2022.

Injury or illness is considered work-related if an event or exposure in the workplace caused or contributed to the condition or aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Warehousing Injuries

The physical nature of working in a warehouse can lead to serious injuries if proper precautions are not taken. Common warehousing injuries include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Heat illness
  • Sprains, strains, and tears
  • Bruises, contusions
  • Fractures
  • Cuts, lacerations
  • Soreness, pain
  • Stress and fatigue

These injuries most often affect worker’s backs, shoulders, knees, and hands. It’s also common to experience injuries that impact multiple body parts, especially if poor ergonomics were at play. Lifting and lowering heavy items, reaching overhead, pushing/pulling heavy loads, and performing the same tasks repeatedly increases risk of musculoskeletal disorders like muscle strains, lower back/shoulder injuries, tendinitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Being struck by an object or equipment, overexertion while lifting or lowering, falls, and roadway incidents involving vehicles are among the most common causes of warehouse workplace injuries.

Preventing Warehouse Work Injuries

Things are constantly moving in a warehouse environment. OSHA offers a variety of resources to help make the workplace safer, noting that warehousing establishments are frequently cited under OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (29 CFR 1910.1200). Training employees who might be exposed to hazardous chemicals (whether through daily work conditions or in an emergency) about those chemicals can help prevent serious injuries and deaths.

Forklift operators must be trained to prevent injuries to themselves as well as others in the warehouse and warehouse equipment. Materials handling is of utmost importance. Regularly inspect equipment such as shelving and conveyor belts to ensure that everything is working properly.

Being prepared for emergency situations with exit plans, medical services/first aid, and procedures to prevent fire hazards from catching on fire is also crucial. Electrical hazards, heat illness, and refrigerated warehousing all pose safety issues that must be addressed.

Implementing a lockout/tagout system for workers to make sure that machines/equipment are isolated from the energy source and unable to operate can prevent serious injuries or deaths. Failing to control hazardous energy during maintenance work can result in injuries such as electrocution, burns, crushing, lacerating, fractured body parts, and other major work injuries.

You can click here to learn more about OSHA standards for warehousing and storage.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.