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You are the best guardian of your safety in a warehouse

If you are one of the many workers in warehouses in and around Whitehall, Pennsylvania, you will likely face many safety hazards. While some employers prioritize employee safety, others are more concerned about profits, which more or less leaves you to look after your own safety. Fortunately, you have certain rights to protect you in the event of a workplace injury.

You will likely be able to identify some of the more significant hazards easily, and if your employer provides safety training, those are the dangers of which you will learn. However, some risks are less visible and often overlooked although they can cause serious injuries.

Storage shelves and pallet racks

Shelves and pallet racks can collapse, and if you note the following, you might avoid injury:

  • Load shelves or racks with balanced stacks that do not exceed the weight limits.
  • A negligent forklift operator can strike a stack of pallet racks, causing them to tumble onto a worker in the next aisle.

It is always critical to attend all training sessions to learn about the safe ways to load stock onto shelves.

Slips, trips and falls

Caution signs in dangerous areas can help. Remember that any fall can cause severe injuries, not only those from heights. Proper housekeeping and alertness can protect you from these hazards, which could be difficult to spot, and you might do well to look out for the following risks that could cause life-changing injuries:

  • Take special care in areas with poor lighting, but keep in mind that a wet spot on the floor could be almost invisible.
  • Sawdust on the floor is a severe trip hazard.
  • Highly-polished or buffed concrete surfaces are typically slick enough to cause a fall.
  • Report dangerous areas, and ask your employer to fit guard railings on elevated areas and to put anti-slip material on ledges and steps.

Loading docks are typically areas with a lot of workers on foot. Be alert for tripping hazards when you are working close to the edge of the dock.

Machine hazards

Any machine with moving parts poses safety hazards. Implement the following precautions:

  • Remain alert because complacency can cause injuries even to operators with years of experience.
  • Place warning labels and signs in prominent and strategic locations.
  • Ensure that all your co-workers who move about near machines know the risks and take note of the warning signs.
  • Never remove safeguards from machines, and always follow the manufacturers' operating instructions.

Forklifts are especially dangerous machinery. Stay alert and keep a look out for moving vehicles because accidents involving vehicles or forklifts are prevalent.

Musculoskeletal injuries

Each worker's physical capabilities differ, depending on body types. Do not exceed your body's physical capacity, and knowing your limits might protect you from the following:

  • Prolonged physical exertion could lead to muscle strains and sprains.
  • Learn proper lifting techniques to safeguard the ligaments, tendons and muscles.

Your co-workers may thank you if you speak to your employer about ergonomic measures that could prevent strain and stress of repetitive motions such as lifting, twisting, stretching and bending.

Workers' compensation

In the unfortunate event of a workplace injury, you may find comfort in knowing that the Pennsylvania workers' compensation system might provide financial assistance. However, if you were partly to blame for your injury, will you still be eligible for benefits? An experienced workers' compensation attorney can explain the no-fault insurance system and assist with navigating the claims process in pursuit of benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

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Richard D. Director Law Offices
352 5th Street, Suite A
Whitehall, PA 18052

Phone: 484-619-2949
Fax: 610-776-0510
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