When you consider the industries with higher percentages of fatal injuries, what comes to mind may be law enforcement, construction or even crab fishing in Arctic waters. But, as it turns out, warehouse work can also be dangerous at times.
In fact, the trend toward injuries and deaths from warehouse accidents and incidents has been an upward trajectory, according to data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2015, there were just 11 on-the-job fatalities to workers in the warehouse industry. The following year, the deaths rose to 16. In 2017, the rate had doubled to 22, and in 2018, it had climbed to 26.
What that means for warehouse workers
Generally, an upward trend in fatal injuries is an indicator that safety is not a primary focus in that industry. When that is the case, it is prudent for workers to be particularly cautious when carrying out their duties. They may also want to alert the warehouse manager to obvious safety risks like heavy boxes stacked more than shoulder high in the warehouse or any malfunctioning electrical components that could render a deadly shock.
But all warehouse workers should know that they have a right to a safe and hazard-free workplace. If they wind up suffering an injury while working in the warehouse, they can file for workers’ compensation benefits. That will cover their costs for medical care, including co-pays, and also may give them some needed financial relief while they recuperate from their on-the-job injuries. Should a claim be denied, seeking legal guidance may be appropriate.