With more than 7,000 warehouses across the United States, workers face a variety of hazards every day. Although the warehousing industry must comply with OSHA workplace safety regulations and other state and federal laws, warehouse accidents still remain extremely common.
Employers have a responsibility to maintain a safe working environment and minimize risks for their employees. If you have been injured in a warehouse accident, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help. Our experienced legal team can help you understand your legal options and pursue a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf.
Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our lawyers.
Warehouse Accident Injury Statistics
The regular operation of heavy machinery, continuous manual lifting, constantly moving parts, and the pressure to meet production quotas can make working in a warehouse dangerous. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the warehousing industry experiences 15,000 injuries or illnesses annually. In addition, the fatal injury rate in the warehousing industry is above the national average for other industries.
According to OSHA, the 10 most common areas in which the agency issues citations in the warehousing industry are for:
- Hazard communication
- Electrical wiring methods
- Electrical system design
- Guarding floor, wall openings, and holes
- Mechanical power transmission
- Respiratory protection
- Lockout/tag out
- Portable fire extinguishers
Forklift accidents, in particular, are a major cause of injuries in the warehousing industry. In fact, forklift accidents alone each year kill on average 100 workers and injure 95,000. Common types of forklift accidents that lead to injuries include:
- Being struck by falling material
- Falling from the forklift platform
- Getting caught between the forklift and another surface
Common Causes of Warehouse Accidents
The high-risk areas for warehouses accidents are loading docks, forklifts, conveyors, and charging stations. Some of the most common causes of accidents in warehouses include:
- Unsafe or improper use of forklifts
- Inadequate training
- Lack of safety protocol or safety education
- Negligent operation of equipment or machinery
- Insufficient personal protective equipment
- Being struck by or caught in-between and crushed by equipment
- Slips and falls
- Poor lighting conditions
- Improperly maintained equipment
- Falling objects due to improperly stored materials
- Poor hazard communication
- Inadequate fire prevention measures
- Clutter and disorganization
- Pallet jack failure or collapse
Common Warehouse Accident Injuries
Warehouse accident injuries can range from mild to severe. The most common warehouse injuries include:
- Chemical burns due to exposure to hazardous materials
- Respiratory issues due to exposure to air pollutants
- Back injuries due to poor ergonomics, overexertion, or improper lifting techniques
- Electrical shock
- Head and brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Musculoskeletal or soft tissue injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Amputated or crushed limbs
Legal Options for Injured Warehouse Workers
In Illinois, there two possible options for obtaining benefits or compensation when a warehouse employee is injured on the job: workers’ compensation and third-party lawsuits.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that the employee’s injuries are covered without proof of negligence so long as the injuries arose directly from employment or occurred during the course of employment. Through a workers’ compensation claim, an employee can recover medical benefits, disability benefits, and death benefits.
Illinois law also allows a third-party personal injury claim when you’re injured in a workplace accident that is caused entirely or in part by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct of someone other than your employer. A third-party personal injury claim allows you to seek compensation for:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Disability and disfigurement
- Loss of normal life
How Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers have extensive experience dealing with both workers compensation and personal injury claims. We have helped employees injured in a wide-variety of workplace accidents obtain the compensation they deserve. When you work with use, you can rest assured that you will receive compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated representation. During our free consultation, we can evaluate your case and help determine who is at fault for your injuries.
Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free case assessment and discuss your legal options with one of our skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys today.