If you work in a warehouse, your employer has a duty to take measures to keep you safe: While accidents can happen, in many cases, they could have been avoided if employers had done more.
Most warehouses use a variety of moving machines, such as forklifts which pose a hazard to workers walking around on foot.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is in overall charge of workplace safety in the country: They set out a series of recommendations that employers should (or in some cases must) follow to protect workers. Here is what they recommend for keeping pedestrians safe in warehouses:
Understand the danger points
While there have been occasions of workers being injured when strong winds blow the warehouse roof off, most injuries are more mundane.
Top hazards include:
- Being run over, crushed or speared by forklifts
- Falling from one level to the next
- Being struck by a falling object
Employers need to ensure forklift drivers have adequate training and take steps to protect pedestrians. For instance:
- Yielding the right of way to anyone on foot at all times
- Stopping and sounding their horn at intersections
- Using reversing alarms and flashing lights
- Looking where they are going
- Using spotters where needed
Employers must provide protection where people could fall four feet or more. This could be guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall protection systems. They should also reduce the potential for contact between pedestrians and vehicles and pedestrians and falling objects by allocating safe walkways.
Hopefully, your employer will do all these things. Regardless, you should be able to claim workers’ compensation if injured at work. Seek legal help to find out more.