Warehouse workers and material movers employed in warehouses that are part of wholesale and retail operations shelve and retrieve freight, stock or other materials. Warehouse employees may work on elevated loading docks and around conveyors, forklifts, and electrical systems common to industrial settings. Warehouse workers lift and carry heavy objects. Their work is repetitive and physically demanding.
Moving heavy objects around warehouses or onto trucks may lead to sprains, strains, overexertion or cumulative injuries. Many types of accidents can happen in a large warehouse operation, from a slip and fall accident to a collision with a forklift to being struck by falling boxes. Accidents in warehouses can lead to serious or fatal injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured while working in a warehouse in Kentucky, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can help you seek the full benefits available to you by law. Our law firm has recovered more than $200 million in workers’ compensation benefits for hardworking Kentuckians. We stand ready to fight for you. Contact us today to schedule your free legal consultation.
Potential Hazards Associated With Warehouse Work
More than 1.4 million people work in warehouses in the United States. Nearly 30,500 Kentuckians are employed in warehousing and storage. The fatal injury rate for the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all industries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says.
A warehouse employee who is injured on the job and cannot work for seven days or more should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp is no-fault insurance that pays all medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, as well as additional benefits for catastrophic injury and death.
A warehouse employee who is injured on the job should not have to fight for workers’ comp benefits. But workers’ comp insurance administrators sometimes deny or dispute valid workers’ comp claims. Some employers try to take advantage of injured workers who are unfamiliar with the Kentucky workers’ compensation system.
We urge you to contact a workers’ compensation attorney from Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer to discuss the benefits available after suffering a warehouse accident.
Some of the most common causes of compensable warehouse injuries include:
- Physical Strain. Warehouse workers are often required to perform repetitive motions, including reaching, bending, pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying heavy objects. Many warehouse workers develop musculoskeletal injuries, particularly back injuries, from performing these types of labor. A strain or sprain can occur by lifting a heavy object or because of cumulative wear and tear over time.
- Moving Machinery. Warehouse workers are often hit by forklifts, metal-body vehicles with protruding forks that move materials in warehouses and on loading docks. Warehouse workers dealing with conveyors can be injured if they become caught by pinch points, or develop musculoskeletal disorders associated with awkward postures or repetitive motions required to feed or retrieve from conveyors.
- Falling Objects. Materials on warehouse shelves, loading docks or conveyors, or lifted by forklifts may fall and strike workers, causing blunt force or crushing injuries. Falling object injuries also occur in accidents involving the collapse of shelving, crates, or supports.
- Exposure to Harmful Substances. There are numerous potential harmful exposures in a warehouse operation. Violations of lockout/tagout standards, which are meant to prevent exposure to electrical shock or electrocution, are among the most frequent OSHA violations found in warehouses. When toxic materials are among the items being stored, chemical burns are possible if hazardous materials spills occur.
- Slips, Trips and Falls. Workers may slip or trip and fall on warehouse floors that are wet, cluttered, uneven or poorly lighted. Accumulated dust, sand, or sawdust on concrete floors is a slipping hazard, as well. Falls can lead to head and traumatic brain injury, back injury, broken bones and other traumatic injuries. In addition to general cleanliness and tidiness, OSHA regulations require specific guarding for floor and wall openings.
- Cumulative Trauma. Cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) is the excessive wear and tear on muscles, tendons, and nerve tissues caused by repetitive motion over an extended period of time. Bending, reaching, stretching or lifting for several hours every day of a workweek creates micro-traumas within the worker’s body that never have the opportunity to heal. Eventually, the cumulative trauma causes chronic pain and loss of mobility.
Our Attorneys Help Injured Warehouse Employees
If you are a warehouse employee and you have been injured in an accident at work or from the cumulative effects of your job duties, you should speak to an attorney about workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to claim under Kentucky law.
Many Kentucky workers eligible for workers’ comp payments go without the full benefits they deserve because they do not understand the system and they have no one to stand up for them. This is especially true among laborers who are incorrectly told their cumulative work injuries are due to age and are not occupational injuries.
The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer will stand up for you. We understand the types of accidents that warehouse workers commonly suffer and the wear-and-tear injuries that end workers’ careers and make them eligible for workers’ compensation.
Our attorneys can help you pursue the workers’ compensation benefits you have a right to seek for your warehouse injury. We can file your claim, document the full extent of your injuries, and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf with the workers’ compensation insurance company. If the insurers will not settle, your Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer workers’ compensation attorney will represent you in all necessary hearings before state officials and Administrative Law Judges.
It takes Kentucky Courage to fight for fair workers’ compensation benefits when your employer says you don’t deserve them. You have the legal right to claim what you are due, and the lawyers of Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer have the courage to fight for you. Contact us now for a free claim review.