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Warehouse heavy machinery and the risk of work-related injuries

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Heavy machinery isn’t limited to the construction industry; it’s also used in other workplaces such as warehouses. Unlike most heavy machinery in construction, the ones used in warehouses are more compact and focused on carrying large loads.

It may be more compact, but the heavy machinery used in warehouses can still cause work-related injuries. This blog will explore the heavy machinery used in most warehouses and their potential for injuries.

The potential risks

The following are some of the most common heavy machinery used in warehousing with high injury risks:

  • Forklifts: Forklifts are one of the most commonly used pieces of heavy machinery in warehouses. But they’re also a major source of injury. According to the latest Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) statistics, forklifts cause between 35,000 and 62,000 work-related injuries each year. Common injuries caused by forklifts include broken bones, crush injuries, and head trauma.
  • Pallet jacks: Pallet jacks are a basic type of forklift used to lift and move pallets inside a warehouse; some are even electric-powered to allow the lifting of heavier pallets. They might not have a vehicle function like forklifts, but they can still cause injuries to users if they’re not careful. Common injuries caused by pallet jacks include strains and sprains, broken bones, and head trauma.
  • Cherry pickers: Also known as boom lifts, cherry pickers allow users to reach high shelves and other hard-to-access areas in warehouses. But this added element of height also increases the risk of injury. Common injuries caused by cherry pickers include falls from heights, broken bones, and head trauma.
  • Overhead cranes: Overhead cranes can lift and move heavy loads in warehouses but can also cause injuries if an accident occurs. Common injuries caused by overhead cranes include crush injuries, broken bones, and head trauma.

Workers can avoid accidents and injuries if these heavy machinery are properly used. However, improper use, poorly maintained equipment and insufficient user training can raise the risk of injury-causing accidents.

Heavy machinery injuries and workers’ comp

Fortunately for workers, workers’ compensation can provide them benefits if they suffer an injury involving heavy machinery. These benefits include:

  • Medical benefits
  • Temporary total disability benefits
  • Permanent disability benefits
  • Death benefits

Workers’ compensation can also provide vocational rehabilitation benefits. This benefit can help pay for training, education, and job placement services if you can’t return to your original job after recovery.

But workers’ comp isn’t a guaranteed payout – the employer or their insurer can still deny a worker’s injury claim for several reasons. If this happens, workers should approach a legal professional. An attorney can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the workers’ compensation process, from filing the initial claim to appealing a denied claim.