Congress created the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) in 1970 as a means of protecting American workers from workplace hazards, including warehouse hazards. The agency promulgates standards designed to minimize or prevent work-related accidents and dangerous health conditions. OSHA is also responsible for enforcing violations of its rules by issuing penalties for various infractions. Knowing the most commonly cited violations in warehouses can be helpful for employees who work in a warehouse environment. If you see one of the following deficiencies, mention it to your employer immediately so that they can fix the hazardous condition.
- Forklift hazards. According to OSHA, nearly 100 employees are fatally injured in warehouse forklift accidents every year. Most of these accidents occur when a forklift overturns, crushing a bystander. Always be careful when walking around forklifts and use a spotter to cover your blind spots. Never exceed five miles per hour when operating a forklift.
- Lockout/tagout failures. Employees should always follow proper protocol for shutting down equipment when not in use. Warehouses can be full of damaged equipment that is still in rotation. Defective or damaged equipment should be clearly marked “out of service” and promptly repaired.
- Electrical hazards. Be sure to ground your electrical circuits. OSHA requires employers to provide ground fault circuit interrupters (CFCIs) for all receptacle outlets. This can help prevent ground fault electric shock injuries.
- Hazard communication. Employees should have access to cleanup kits wherever chemicals are kept. Employers should effectively communicate how to use and wear protective equipment, and how to safely clean up spills if they should occur.
- Fall hazards. Warehouse workers should use fall protection gear, including both fall restraints and fall arrests. Fall restraints are equipment, such as guardrails, that prevent falls. Fall arrests are systems that can help halt or minimize the impact of a fall in progress, such as a safety net.
- Respiratory hazards. Warehouse workers can be exposed to dangerous airborne substances, and should have access to personal protective equipment, including respirators, if necessary. Many employers offer these devices, yet employees refuse to wear them. Always follow safety protocol when it comes to handling dangerous chemicals in a warehouse environment.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Victims of Workplace Accidents
If you have been injured on-the-job or diagnosed with an occupational health condition, Workers’ Compensation can help to cover medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. The experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. can negotiate to obtain the maximum benefits you are entitled to by law. To discuss your case, call us today at 866-881-8623 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.
Our attorneys are proud to provide the highest quality legal service and exceptional representation to injured workers and their families throughout South Carolina, including those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.