Michael Burgis & Associates, P.C.

The time is right for fulfillment center workplace injuries

Very soon e-commerce fulfillment centers in California will be hives of activity with incoming stock to be ready for the demands of seasonal shoppers. Risks of workplace injuries will be higher throughout this time because it will not be long before product picking, shipping and constant replenishment of stock will take place. The fact that seasonal -- often inexperienced -- workers may come in could increase the potential of injuries.

Safety authorities say forklift accidents make up a significant portion of the number of workplace accidents in this industry -- and many of them are fatal. They say precautions include allowing only certified operators over the age of 18 to work on forklifts. Proper equipment maintenance and daily safety checks are essential. Furthermore, strict speed limits must be in place, along with clear rules about lifting, lowering and stacking loads with the forklift.

Falling objects pose significant hazards in fulfillment centers, especially when products are stacked too high or when overhanging objects are present. Special care is necessary when packing oddly shaped goods such as cylindrical products. If even one stack is unbalanced and topples over, it can cause a domino effect if it falls against the next one. Not only product damage can occur, but many workers can suffer struck-by injuries in such a catastrophe.

Proper housekeeping is crucial to prevent slip-and-fall accidents on wet and slippery spots, and discarded shrinkwrap and bits of corrugated packing can cause trip-and-fall accidents. However, regardless of all the safety precautions, accidents can still happen. Victims of workplace injuries are typically eligible for workers' compensation benefits. The claims process could be challenging, but an experienced California workers' compensation attorney can assist in the pursuit of benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

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