If you’ve been injured in a warehouse accident, you may understandably be looking for help and support in dealing with your injuries.
If so, you’ve found the right place. In this informative guide, we examine ways you can follow to recover after a warehouse accident, from getting support with your physical and mental health to help with finances and getting legal advice on a compensation claim.
Let’s dive in.
How Do Warehouse Accidents Happen?
There are lots of ways a warehouse accident could happen. Here’s a list of the top causes:
- Forklift Accidents:
- A common occurrence involves forklifts colliding with other vehicles or stationary objects, leading to injuries and damage to goods. In some cases, pedestrians may be struck by forklifts due to blind spots or improper operation.
- Falls from Heights:
- Workers may fall from elevated areas such as mezzanines, racks, or loading docks. Lack of proper fall protection measures, inadequate guardrails, or failure to use personal protective equipment can contribute to such incidents.
- Manual Handling Injuries:
- Incorrect lifting techniques and the absence of ergonomic practices can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Workers may strain their backs, shoulders, or suffer from repetitive strain injuries due to frequent and heavy lifting.
- Slips, Trips, and Falls:
- Wet or slippery floors, uneven surfaces, and cluttered walkways can result in slips, trips, and falls. Failure to promptly address spills or maintain a clean and organized workspace increases the risk of such accidents.
- Inadequate Training Incidents:
- Lack of proper training on equipment operation, safety procedures, and emergency protocols can lead to accidents. Workers may mishandle machinery or fail to respond appropriately in emergency situations.
- Collapsing Racks or Shelving:
- Poorly maintained or overloaded racks and shelving units can collapse, causing serious injuries to workers and damage to stored goods. Regular inspections and adherence to weight limits are crucial for preventing such incidents.
- Vehicle Accidents:
- Accidents involving delivery trucks, forklifts, or other warehouse vehicles can occur within the facility or in loading areas. Poor traffic management and failure to enforce speed limits contribute to the risk of collisions.
- Fire Hazards:
- Warehouses often store flammable materials, and fires can break out due to electrical faults, faulty equipment, or inadequate fire prevention measures. Inadequate fire evacuation plans may lead to injuries or fatalities.
- Crushing Incidents:
- Workers can be caught between moving machinery, trapped in confined spaces, or crushed by heavy objects. Failure to follow proper lockout/tagout procedures or inadequate machine guarding can contribute to such incidents.
- Chemical Exposure:
- Warehouses that handle hazardous materials may pose risks of chemical exposure. Accidents involving spills, leaks, or improper handling of chemicals can result in injuries or long-term health issues for workers.
How To Get Support After A Warehouse Accident
There are lots of different ways to get support after a warehouse accident, be it for your physical and mental health, your finances, or legal advice.
Let’s look at some of the different ways you can find help.
It can help to get legal advice on what happened, especially if you’ve suffered a serious injury. Sometimes, an accident at work can occur because of the failings of your employer.
For example, they may have failed to provide adequate training to a colleague, who then drove a forklift truck in a dangerous way and hurt you.
Warehouse accident claims can arise in myriad ways, but the injuries that could result can be severe, as we’ve seen above. Getting legal advice from experienced solicitors could make a significant difference to your recovery.
A personal injury solicitor could help you recover any lost earnings or expenses you’ve had to incur because of the injury. And they could help you get compensation for the injury that you’ve suffered too.
After suffering an injury at work, it’s important to report it to your employer. All workplaces should have an accident book, particularly warehouses where there are a lot of hazards.
Once you report the accident and injury, your employer should investigate to determine a cause.
You should also check your contract of employment. This should contain guidance on your rights and entitlements if you suffer an injury in an accident at work.
For example, you may find that you’re entitled to full sick pay for a period of time. You can also speak with your manager, supervisor or HR department for further advice on your rights.
Benefits And Statutory Sick Pay
Employers aren’t bound by law to offer sick pay to injured employees. Instead, you may be forced to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), which is a government scheme that ensures you receive some money if you’re unable to work.
SSP is set at a lower level than your usual salary so you may find it’s not enough to cover your bills and expenses.
As a result, you could also look to claim for the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. This is a type of benefit that you can receive to support you while you recover from your injury.
The most paramount thing is to ensure that you get the right support for your physical health and mental well-being.
The injuries caused by a warehouse accident can be significant. You may, for example, suffer a broken bone, meaning that you need immediate treatment. You may also suffer a psychological injury caused by the accident.
It’s important to get ongoing care too, such as physiotherapy, which can boost your recovery time and also the prospects of a complete recovery.
Sometimes companies have Occupational Health departments. It’s worth enquiring with your employer to see if you can get any support through them.