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New warehouse expectations bring new safety issues

Working in a Florida warehouse or distribution center is often a fast-paced, exciting and financially rewarding experience. Whether you go home exhausted at the end of a shift or find the physical and mental work exhilarating, you probably feel some job security as e-commerce booms. In fact, you may feel relieved to see some of the more modern equipment designed to help make your job more efficient.

Unfortunately, modern warehouse technology is not making your job safer. In fact, the rate of warehouse injuries now matches that of agricultural accidents, one of the most dangerous industries in the country. Being aware of the potential injuries you face and where to turn if you suffer an injury are even more important in today's warehouse.

Common safety concerns in the modern warehouse

Keeping up with the increasing demand from online shoppers and brick-and-mortar stores may mean letting safety go by the wayside. Cutting corners for the sake of speed and focusing on the bottom line at your expense can have tragic results. Some of the common areas where modern warehouses may be placing workers in danger include the following:

  • Including robotics and autonomous forklifts, which you may have to work around without adequate training or appropriate safety protocols
  • Saving money by hiring one person to handle both productivity issues and safety concerns
  • Dismissing near-misses instead of taking the time to address the hazards
  • Failing to investigate or report minor accidents
  • Setting unrealistic production goals that you and your co-workers can only meet by skirting safety protocol
  • Reducing the expense of backroom staff, which may leave aisles and doorways blocked with boxes and clutter in violation of federal safety standards
  • Ignoring ergonomic stressors like standing, repetitive motion, heat, noise and others
  • Failing to adequately train workers because of the inconvenience of round-the-clock shifts

While workers' compensation benefits should cover your medical needs and certain other expenses related to your injury, you may be entitled to compensation from other sources, too. For example, if negligence on the part of a co-worker or employer caused the accident that resulted in your injuries, or if some third party caused the accident, you may have a case for a personal injury claim.

Additionally, if your injuries are severe enough to prevent you from working for a year or longer, Social Security Disability may be appropriate. An experienced attorney can assist you with maximizing the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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