Working in a warehouse can be dangerous. The environment is physically demanding and can commonly cause back injuries. Other mishaps can include forklift accidents, slips, trips and falls, objects falling from above, falling from heights, and manual handling injuries. According to statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive, 144 workers were the victims of fatal accidents in the workplace between 2015 and 2016. Of these deaths, 26% fell from a height, 19% were hit by a moving vehicle, and 10% were struck by a moving object. All of these accidents can happen in any warehouse.
Warehouse accident injuries can range from minor to severe. Many cases can lead to a claim for compensation. In order for these claims to succeed, it is essential that the claimant is able to prove that the warehouse operator acted negligently. If this is the case, and the operator has ignored health and safety guidelines, then you may have a claim against the warehouse owner. If you think you have a good case then give us a call to discuss your details in complete confidence.
This article is designed to provide you with an introduction to the compensation claims process. If you have been involved in a warehouse accident (or you know someone who has), this information can provide you with advice about what you need to do next. You will learn of some of the most common injuries that warehouse workers can have. We will examine a range of statistics regarding warehouse injuries, and we will discuss the way in which an employer might be considered negligent.
We will also inform you of the steps you should take when you want to file a claim. If you have any doubts about the claims process or wish to find out more information, you can call our office. We’re always ready to discuss your potential warehouse accident claim seven days a week.
What is a Warehouse Accident?
In 2009/10, the Health and Safety Executive were aware of 8,500 accidents which occurred in warehouse and road haulage environments. Warehouse accidents are accidents which occur inside a warehouse or immediately outside. Often, these accidents can lead to serious injury. Accidents inside a warehouse can happen for many reasons and can include forklift accidents, falling shelves or stock, trips and falls, being struck by a moving vehicle, or an injury caused by improper lifting technique.
These accidents can occur due to the negligence of either the warehouse operator or somebody else. Negligence means failing to take proper care. If this is the case, it may be possible to claim compensation for any injuries and pain you have suffered. Warehouse accidents that are the fault of somebody else can lead to successful compensation claims.
Warehouse accidents involving forklift trucks or similar machinery are fairly common. Such mishaps can result in serious injury. If you have suffered a serious warehouse accident insufficient forklift training can be one of the major causes. Forklift truck accidents have the following causes:
- Poorly trained drivers – the person operating a forklift might have inadequate training, leading to another worker having an injury.
- Speeding – these machines often operate in areas with speed restrictions. These can vary from warehouse to warehouse but are intended to stop the machines from losing control. If a forklift is speeding, an accident may occur.
- Operating a forklift with a heavy load – during important moments of operation, it is recommended that operators keep the load of the forklift as low as possible. This is better for balance and drastically reduces the threat of an accident.
- Multiple operators – most machines are designed for a single operator. If the number of people using or riding on a forklift machine exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendation or the health and safety guidelines, an accident might occur.
- The environment – warehouse crash barriers are one way in which to protect people from accidents involving heavy machines. Failure to fit these may be the fault of the warehouse operator.
In all of the above instances, it might be decided that the warehouse operator acted in a negligent manner. If this is the case and you have been injured as the result of an accident involving a forklift truck, you may be able to make a compensation claim for your warehouse accident.
Slip Trip and Fall Injuries Caused by Warehouse Accidents
One of the most common types of accidents to occur in a warehouse is a trip, a slip, or a fall. The after-effects of these incidents can range from minor bumps and bruises to incredibly severe health issues, depending on the nature of the accident. Warehouses come in all shapes and sizes but many of the most common causes of slips and trips are shared across almost every warehouse. These can include (but are not limited to):
- Spilled liquid or sawdust on the floor.
- Boxes or items placed in a pathway.
- Electrical cords under carpet or on the floor.
- Poor lighting.
All of the above issues can hinder a person and lead to an accident. A spilled liquid, for example, can be a potential hazard. Health and safety regulations often exist in order to protect against such issues. They might, for example, recommend that a warning sign is placed near a wet floor to warn passers-by. If this action is not taken, then the accident victim may have a legitimate claim for compensation. Start your warehouse accident claim now by giving us a call.
Other Common Warehouse Accidents
Warehouses can be huge, difficult to navigate environments. As well as accidents involving forklifts and falls, there are many ways in which an employee or a visitor might hurt themselves. Other types of warehouse accident include:
- Back Injuries – suffering from a warehouse back injury is not uncommon. Those who work in warehouses often have to do a lot of repetitive heavy lifting. If correct lifting technique is not taught through training, this can take its toll on the back and cause serious injury.
- Objects falling – boxes might be stacked high on shelves. If these fall down and especially if they fall onto a person, they are capable of causing a great deal of harm.
- Exposure to harmful substances – chemicals can be stored in warehouses or used to clean and maintain the building. Exposure to such chemicals , especially without the correct protective clothing or training, can be harmful to the body and cause diseases like cancer.
- Warehouse racking accidents – racks and shelves can cause many types of accidents. They can fall apart, break, collapse, or even provide a sharp edge on which a person could cut themselves. The process of loading or racking these areas can lead to serious injury when training is not provided.
Being aware of the health and safety regulations which apply to any warehouse can help you stay free from harm. If you believe that these guidelines have not been followed and you have sustained an injury as a result, you can file a warehouse accident compensation claim.
What Your Employer Should Do to Prevent Warehouse Accidents
Slip and trip warehouse accidents are a serious problem in warehousing and storage and can happen anywhere. They are often seen by employers as unimportant and ‘just one of those things’, but most slip and trip accidents can be avoided. Slips often happen because the floor is wet or contaminated. Within warehouses, water, oil, cleaning products, dry powders and foodstuffs can all make the floor more slippery. Other items, like stretch wrapping, label backing and plastic bags can also cause slips. Try to stop the floor getting contaminated, for example by maintaining equipment properly. When contamination does happen, deal with it immediately by cleaning up the mess.
Most floors have good slip resistance when they are clean, dry and level. However, smooth floors that are even slightly wet or contaminated will be slippery. The rougher the floor, the better it will cope with water and other contamination and the less likely someone is to slip. The right footwear can help reduce slips but employers should only consider issuing footwear to control slip risks as a last resort. They should try to eliminate the cause of the problem first.
Objects on the floor or uneven surfaces are usually the cause of trips. Trip hazards can include items like goods, waste packaging, banded strapping, loops and pallets. Your employer should make sure that goods, equipment and waste do not cause obstructions or project into places where people may walk. They should keep floors and traffic routes free from obstructions. Warehouse operators should check that floor surfaces are even both inside and outside buildings and fill in any holes. Employers should provide good lighting. Good housekeeping is important: if items fall onto traffic routes, they should be cleared as soon as possible. Employers need to inspect the workplace regularly to make sure that there are no trip hazards.
People suffer from work-related aches and pains in the warehousing and storage industry, including problems such as lower back pain and neck pain. If there is a risk from a manual handling task, the employee needs to avoid the task first. If the task cannot be avoided, the risk of injury occurring must be minimized. The warehouse operator must carry out a manual handling assessment for manual handling operations and tasks that present a risk of injury. Consider the task, the load, the working environment, individual capability and other factors. The employer needs to think about all systems of work and tasks that involve manual handling. Where appropriate, the operator redesigns tasks to avoid the need to move loads manually, or uses mechanical handling devices such as lift trucks, pallet trucks, trolleys, conveyors, chutes, and scissor lifts. Where necessary, the operator should introduce additional mechanical handling devices to avoid or reduce manual handling operations.
Employers should give their employees information about the weight of a load and its heaviest side if its centre of gravity is not central. They also need to provide training in safe manual handling techniques and manual handling devices used. Training should be specific to the task. It should complement a safe system of work and not be a substitute for it.
Any work at height, including maintenance work undertaken by a contractor, must be properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe way. Avoid work at height if you can, but if it cannot be avoided, select the correct equipment for the task. People can fall from step ladders or ladders. Where they are used the employer must be able to show that it is not reasonable to select alternative, safer equipment because the task is low risk and of short duration. Never use pallets on fork-lift trucks for accessing work at height or as working platforms. Never climb on racking unless it is specifically designed for use as access equipment.
The employer must make sure that everyone involved in working at height has the ability to do the work safely. Training is needed. Some access equipment may require specialist training such as a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP).
Moving vehicles need to be carefully managed to control and reduce the likelihood of accidents.
All of the employers involved in the delivery and collection of goods should exchange any relevant information on health and safety. Visiting drivers should be given any information they need in advance to ensure their own safety and that of others. Employers need to think about how they will communicate with visiting drivers who do not speak and/or only have a limited vocabulary or understanding of English. This can be done by providing copies of the site rules, illustrated with pictograms, to cover expected foreign languages.
Pedestrians and vehicles have to be able to circulate safely. Workplace traffic routes should be suitable for the people and vehicles using them. Where vehicles and pedestrians use the same traffic route, there should be adequate separation between them. Employers should consider the complete separation of vehicles and pedestrians first. Where this is not possible employers will need to use other control measures.
Traffic routes should be properly designed. Employers must consider: vehicles being used; minimizing the need for reversing; avoiding sharp bends and blind corners; maintenance and anything that can affect load stability such as steep slopes.
Warehouses should be designed to reduce the risks from reversing vehicles where possible such as installing a one-way system. Where you cannot avoid reversing, keep pedestrians out of the area where a vehicle is reversing. Reversing sensors and CCTV on vehicles can be useful.
Employers should have procedures in place to check that trailers are coupled and uncoupled safely and those semi-trailers are parked with the parking brake correctly applied.
Employers should have safe systems of work for loading and unloading vehicles. When goods or materials are unloaded from one level to another and there is a risk of injury from a fall, they should use appropriate fall protection measures.
Warehouse operators need to have a safe system of work in place so that drivers never move their vehicles (accidentally or deliberately) until the load is secure and it is safe to depart. Someone needs to check this system regularly to make sure that it works.
Employers should take steps to prevent people from being injured by falling objects. If there are areas or specific activities in the warehouse with a risk of material or an object striking someone, the operator needs to make sure that the area is clearly indicated and that unauthorized people don’t enter it.
Mechanical handling equipment should be suitable for the job it is used for. All industrial truck operating areas should be suitably designed and properly maintained. Industrial truck operators need to be trained by a competent person. Operator training should include basic training, specific job training, and familiarisation training.
Lift trucks should be regularly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Lifting parts of industrial trucks, such as the mast, chains, carriage, forks and tilt mechanism, need to be thoroughly examined by a competent person. Employers need to have a documented pre-shift check, a system for reporting defects and for ensuring that remedial work is carried out, a planned routine maintenance system, and a thorough examination/safety inspection regime for each truck.
Storage areas should be properly designated and clearly marked. The layout of storage and handling areas should avoid tight corners, awkwardly placed doors, pillars, uneven surfaces and changes of gradient. Someone should Inspect pallets each time before use to make sure that they are in a safe condition. Employees should take damaged pallets out of use for repair or destruction. Handle empty pallets carefully – do not drag or throw them about. Pallets should be loaded correctly to ensure load stability; banding, shrink or stretch wrap can help with this. If the employer uses pallet racking in your warehouse, make sure the pallets you use are suitable for the type of racking you have. Racking systems should be properly designed and installed. This includes being able to safely take the load of the goods being stored. Employers should protect racking if it is likely to be struck by lift trucks and other vehicles. Warehouse operators need to inspect racking regularly to make sure it is repaired and maintained properly and is safe.
If your employer has failed to follow these guidelines from the Health and Safety Executive you could have a claim for a warehouse accident.
Claiming for a Warehouse Accident at Work
If you have an injury as the result of a warehouse accident, you may be required to fill out a warehouse accident report form. This form will serve to document the injury you have received along with the time and the cause of the accident. If you want to follow this with a legal claim for warehouse accident compensation, being able to demonstrate that your employer has acted in a negligent fashion will be important. For example, if you have fallen from a height while performing your work, the negligence may take the form of a lack of warning signs posted in the area or a lack of safety rails which may have prevented the fall. If these were deemed necessary by the Health and Safety Executive (as in their regulations) and were not provided, you may have a work-related compensation claim.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 are designed to protect employees from falls in the workplace. These regulations require that the employer (in this case, the warehouse operator) must be careful that all work has been planned properly, is correctly supervised, and is then carried out by competent and trained employees. In doing so, the employees must be provided with the equipment necessary for working at height. Many of these tasks might be low risk (and thus in need of less planning effort) but employers should still be aware of the regulations applied to any work at height.
With many other workplace incidents, the employer will have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for employees. In terms of a warehouse, there are many health and safety regulations they must follow. If you want to find out more about your own case, when discussing the matter with one of our specialist solicitors can be helpful.
Claiming for a Warehouse Injury as a Member of the Public
The Occupiers Liability Act of 1957 requires that any person who occupies premises is held responsible for the safety of their visitors. The occupier’s duty is to maintain the welfare of their guests, including those who have not been invited or those who are not meant to be there.
For example, if a carrier service worker comes to the warehouse to deliver a document and, upon his arrival, he sustains an injury in the warehouse, the employer may be held responsible for the carrier service worker’s injury. If it can be demonstrated that the accident occurred as the result of a failure to adhere to the Occupiers Liability Act, the warehouse operator may have to pay compensation to the carrier service worker.
Claiming for compensation following a warehouse injury in which the fact of it being a public place is relevant can be difficult. For further clarification, you can seek legal assistance from us about your warehouse accident claim.
Assessing the Severity of the Warehouse Injury
When assessing the severity of the injury you have sustained it is vital that a medical professional performs a medical examination. The medical examination will help to determine how severe the injury is. The doctor or nurse will also be able to determine how long it will take for you to recover from your injury.
If you have not seen a doctor, we can arrange for a medical exam at a local medical facility. Contact us today about your warehouse accident and we can start your claim.
The Long-Term Effects of a Warehouse Injury
Warehouse accident claims often focus on injuries to the back, arms, and legs. Injury to these body parts can result in a difficult recovery and a future vulnerability to other injuries, weaknesses, or health problems. Apart from the immediate pain and suffering which can be caused by a warehouse accident, there is often the issue of long-term effects. Such effects can often be hidden at the time of the incident and may only manifest in later life. In situations such as this, claiming for compensation at a later date can be difficult.
It is important to fully document the medical effects and implications of your accident. Following an injury, you may have been taken to a hospital. If this is the case, they may have provided an immediate fix for your problem but may not have fully diagnosed the extent of your injury. It is important to fully document these issues.
When we work with potential claimants, one of the first courses of action we take is arranging a doctor’s appointment with a local medical adviser. In this appointment, you will not only have a health check-up, but the doctor will be able to provide informed, expert opinion as to the potential long-term effects of your injury. These notes and reports can then be used as part of the claim.
In addition to physical issues, it is also important to note any psychological or emotional effects of an injury. If you discuss these matters with a doctor and a solicitor, they can form part of your warehouse accident compensation claim.
Warehouse Accidents Facts and Statistics
According to a Health and Safety Executive report covering the years from 2009 -2013, the majority of injuries sustained in the warehouse are:
- Slip, trips, and falls, which made up about 35% of the non-fatal injuries
- Falls from height, which accounted for 22% of non-fatal injuries
- Lifting and handling accidents, which accounted for 12% of non-fatal injuries
- Being struck by an object, which accounted for 12% of non-fatal injuries
- Being struck by a moving vehicle, which accounted for 6% of non-fatal injuries
- Unspecified and all other kinds of injuries, which accounted for 13% of non-fatal injuries.
As you can see, the warehouse accidents statistics indicate that the most common injuries sustained in the warehouse are those of slips and falls. However, there is a broad range of potential injuries for which you can claim compensation. More details on warehouse injuries have been published by the UK Government on the Health and Safety Executive website.
What to do if You Have Suffered an Injury Caused by a Warehouse Accident
If you have sustained an injury as a result of a warehouse accident, there are several steps that you should take in order to prove that the warehouse operator was at fault. Once you have sought medical attention, we advise that you:
- Collect evidence – if possible you should take photographs of the area where you had the injury. Take photos of the item that caused your injury. In addition to photographs, witness statements can be very helpful.
- Complete a warehouse accident report form – many warehouses will keep a log of all accidents and an official warehouse accident report may prove useful in processing your claim at a later date.
- Arrange a medical examination – fully documenting all of the health issues and complications is essential. Our firm can arrange an appointment for you if required.
- Document financial losses – part of the process of claiming compensation involves claiming for all your expenses. Keeping a record of these (including receipts and other proofs) can be essential.
Following these steps in the period after your injury can help make your compensation claim much easier.
What can be Claimed for After a Warehouse Accident Causing an Injury?
There are many expenses, costs, and damages which can be claimed following an injury. These include:
- General damages – for injuries, pain, and mental turmoil that you have suffered.
- Special damages – for the emotional anguish and other difficult to quantify aspects of the injury.
- Medical expenses – for any medication, equipment, or private healthcare that was required.
- Travel expenses – for any travel required for your treatment. If, for example, you have to travel outside your city to see a specialist doctor.
- Funeral expenses – in cases resulting in death, funeral expenses might form part of a settlement total.
Document all expenses that arise as the result of your injury so it is much easier to claim the costs back during the settlement process.
No Win No Fee Warehouse Accident Claims
Often, people find that one of the most trying aspects of attempting to win compensation is their lack of money. A serious injury can impact your ability to work and can damage your earning potential. In an effort to solve this problem, we are able to offer clients a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement. This is also referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This approach can reduce the financial risk involved in filing a claim. For those claimants who choose to work with us, handling the case in such a manner might be less stressful and can help with the recovery process. There is nothing to pay until you win the case when the legal fees are paid out of the compensation money you receive. If you lose there is nothing to pay. You have nothing to lose in making a warehouse accident claim.
How Much Can I Claim for an Injury Caused by a Warehouse Accident?
The amount you can hope to be compensated for is highly influenced by the severity of your injury. The warehouse accident claims listed below include average payouts for back pain, providing a rough estimate of the settlement totals you might receive following a successful warehouse accident claim.
|Back Pain||Severe (type-1)||£69,200 to £122,350||Severe damage to the spinal cord and nerve root.|
|Back Pain||Severe (type-2)||£56,375 to £67,200||Injuries sustained have caused a loss of sensation in certain parts of the body.|
|Back Pain||Severe (type-3)||£29,475 to £53,000||Injuries sustained and treatment has been given but the pain still remains.|
|Back Pain||Moderate (type-1)||£21,100 to £29,475||Incidents where the lumbar vertebrae have been crushed or compressed.|
|Back Pain||Moderate (type-2)||£9,500 to £21,100||Injuries to the back that give rise to backaches.|
|Back Pain||Minor (Type-3)||£6,000 to £9,500||The person has fully recovered from the injury with the need for surgery. The recovery time is about two years to five years.|
|Back Pain||Minor (Type-1)||£1,860 to £6,000||The person has fully recovered from the injury with the need for surgery. The recovery time is about three months to two years.|
|Back Pain||Minor (Type-2)||A few hundred pounds to £1,860||The damage that has been sustained is minimal. Full recovery is made in a few weeks to months|
As you can see from the table above, warehouse injury compensation varies depending on the severity of the injury. If you are still uncertain about your injury and how it links to the final settlement total, you can reach out to one of our solicitors to discuss your claim in detail.
How to Start Warehouse Accident Claim
After you have reviewed all the information and evidence, the next step is beginning your case. In order to do this, you need an experienced solicitor who is an expert in warehouse accident claims. Making a claim can be a very stressful process. To make things as easy as possible, we offer a free consultation that will help you to determine the best available option to take. This session can be arranged over the phone and is offered on a no-obligation basis. It can be useful for those without any knowledge of the law to discover more about their claim. If you choose to start your case in this way, we can help you. If the injury you have is causing you severe pain, we can arrange for a local medical examination to diagnose the full extent of your injury in great detail. Contact us now to start your warehouse accident claim.
Why Choose us as your Claims Service for an Injury Caused in a Warehouse Accident?
We are here for you every step of the way. Our main aim is to treat each and every client on an individual basis as we feel no client is just a number. We do not make any judgments about a case until we have all the facts as assumptions can mean vital parts are missed out and clients may lose out.
We fully appreciate that victims of warehouse accidents are affected in all different ways and no two injuries and personal circumstances are the same. Each claim is unique and receives tailor-made attention from our experienced team of solicitors.
Whether you are searching for lower back pain compensation or legal advice regarding your circumstances, our team can help you with your warehouse accident claim. Our personal injury team is dedicated to getting you the maximum amount of compensation as quickly as possible so that you have the money to put your life back where you want it. We are available by telephone seven days a week so any questions you have are answered promptly. We are a people’s solicitor and are dedicated to giving you the best service you deserve for your warehouse accident claim.
Pick up the phone and call us today. We charge nothing for the initial chat so you cannot lose. We are a friendly bunch and take pride in helping you receive the money you are owed.
Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim
We handle all kinds of warehouse accident claims. We are a friendly firm with over thirty years of experience. If you would like to arrange a free consultation session today, all you need to do is get in touch. It won’t cost you a penny. Our team is waiting to hear how we can help you. Call us today.