California, known for its bustling economy, is home to many warehouses. These large facilities are critical to the supply chain, keeping goods flowing from manufacturers to retailers. However, these environments can also be hazardous. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that accidents and illnesses in the transportation and warehousing sector increased by nearly 25% from 2021 to 2022 and had the second-highest increase in cases of any sector.
By understanding the most common warehouse accidents in California, you can better equip yourself to avoid these potential hazards on the job.
Slips, trips and falls
Whether it is tripping over an improperly stored item or slipping on a wet floor, slips, trips and falls can lead to serious injuries.
Forklifts are essential pieces of equipment in warehouses. However, they can also be dangerous if not handled correctly. Common forklift accidents include tipping over, hitting an employee or dropping a load.
In warehouses, goods are often stored on high shelves. If these items are not secured properly or the correct equipment is not used when retrieving them, they can fall and cause injury.
Manual handling injuries
Lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling heavy items are common tasks in a warehouse. If you do not perform these tasks correctly, you can sustain injuries such as sprains, strains and back injuries.
Inadequate safety procedures
Many accidents in warehouses result from inadequate safety procedures. These can include not using personal protective equipment, not following operating procedures for machinery or not adhering to safety protocols.
What to do after a warehouse accident
If you find yourself involved in a warehouse accident, your first step is to seek medical attention. Even if you do not feel hurt, some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Report the accident to your supervisor and make sure they document it. You will need this documentation if you file for workers’ compensation later.
Maintaining a safe warehouse is a team effort. Everyone must commit to adhering to safety protocols to ensure the well-being of all workers.