Houston Warehouse Accident Attorneys
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Warehouses are large buildings used to store raw materials and other inventory. They are an essential part of the industrial and retail economy, providing over 750,000 jobs in the U.S. However, warehouses can also be dangerous due to the many safety hazards and heavy machinery they contain. If employers and workers do not follow federal safety standards, industrial accidents that result in serious injury are bound to happen.
Common Safety Hazards in Warehouses
- Forklift Accidents – Forklifts are frequently used in warehouses to move inventory in and out of the warehouse or to other storage areas within the warehouse. While they are an ideal machine for performing that function, they are also very dangerous if not used safely. Employers must ensure that any employee that operates a forklift is fully trained on how to do so to avoid accidents.
- Slip & Fall Accidents – Loose materials, poorly lit areas, liquids on the floor, and steps and ridges are all common hazards that lead to slip and fall injuries. Employers should install anti-slip floor tape where necessary to help prevent employees from slipping and falling.
- Falls from Heights – Another common hazard is falling from heights. Whether it is an elevated loading dock or a ladder reaching high shelves, workers must be aware of their surroundings and make sure they are working safely to avoid falling. Where necessary, employers should have fall protection equipment in place.
- Fires – Because of the type and amount of materials in many warehouses, they can be particularly susceptible to fires. Employers and employees should constantly inspect their warehouses for potential fire hazards such as exposed wires, flammable fluids and gases, and electrical cords running under carpeting or rugs.
- Crushed by Object / Machine – On average, two warehouse workers are killed every month in accidents involving being crushed by an object or heavy machinery. It is essential that all workers are trained on how to properly use equipment and machinery in the warehouse, and any large objects that could potentially fall on a worker be tightly secured.
Common Injuries Suffered in Warehouse Accidents
- Neck and back injuries
- Knee and leg injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Brain injuries
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Broken bones
Warehouse Accident FAQ
What should I do after a warehouse accident?
If you have been injured while working at a warehouse, make sure you inform your employer. Each state has its own rules in place regarding on-the-job injuries and workers’ compensation, and if you wait too long to tell your supervisor or manager that you were injured, you could lose your right to benefits. You also need to make medical treatment your top priority. If you did not require emergency treatment immediately after the incident, go see your doctor or go to urgent care and tell them what happened. Follow your doctor’s orders and do not return to work until you are cleared to do so.
In addition to reporting your injury and seeking medical treatment, you should consider involving an attorney after a warehouse accident. These incidents often cause catastrophic trauma, and you will need the best medical treatment and money to make up for lost earnings. An attorney can help you pursue fair compensation, even if your employer or the workers’ comp insurance company tries to delay, deny, or undervalue your claim.
Are warehouse injuries covered by workers’ compensation?
While each state has slightly different workers’ compensation laws, the general consensus is that any on-the-job injuries and illnesses are covered by workers’ comp, regardless of fault. Injured workers can pursue benefits for medical care and lost earnings without having to prove that someone else was to blame. If a third party (someone other than their employer or someone they work with) was at fault, however, they could have a personal injury lawsuit against that person or company. Your attorney can explain how workers’ comp applies to your warehouse accident and resulting injuries.
Do I need a lawyer after a warehouse accident?
You are not required to hire a lawyer after a warehouse accident. You can pursue workers’ compensation without legal counsel, but you may quickly find that your employer and their insurance company are not treating you fairly, that you feel lost, and that you are not receiving the benefits you need. A competent lawyer can not only handle your workers’ comp claim but can pursue additional compensation, if applicable. You can get all of your questions answered and your rights protected during this extremely challenging time.
Employers Have a Responsibility to Minimize Warehouse Hazards
Employers have a responsibility to make the workplace as safe as possible for its employees. Part of that responsibility includes minimizing hazards as well as reasonably possible. If you have been injured in a warehouse accident, your employer may be liable for your injuries if necessary precautions were not taken to prevent the accident from happening. At Arnold & Itkin, we offer free consultations to warehouse workers who were injured on the job. Our attorneys can review the facts of your case and inform you of your legal rights. Let us fight for the best possible results after an injury.
Contact our warehouse accident attorneys to learn your options for financial and legal recovery: (888) 493-1629!