Industrial equipment makes most workers’ lives easier because it lifts, transports and cuts materials into manageable chunks. It’s incredibly convenient for industrial or warehouse employees. However, machinery also is terribly dangerous if misused or defective.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), some of the largest hazards for warehouse employees included forklifts, electrical systems and conveyors. It makes it critical for employees to know the risks of using equipment in their workplace.
Five dangerous pieces of equipment
Most workers know that the machinery they use has risks. But what pieces are the most dangerous for warehouse employees? Some include:
- Forklifts – Almost 100 employees are killed by forklifts each year across all industries. OSHA claims that forklift turnovers are a significant cause for most of these fatalities.
- Conveyors – Some employees suffer from injuries after they are caught in or hit by falling objects from conveyors belts.
- Charging stations – These stations are necessary for operating other equipment, including forklifts, but there have been multiple incidents of charging stations catching on fire or exploding when misused.
- Ladders – Most workers do not think of ladders as machinery, but they are a vital piece of equipment if you must move and transport materials for shipping or receiving. Most slip and falls happen while on ladders due to improper balance or protocol.
- Pallet jacks – Many warehouses use pallet jacks to move boxes or goods from one area to another. While some pallet jacks are hand-operated, there are situations where workers suffer serious injuries from them, including back injuries and tendonitis.
Employees should know the proper strategies and uses for any equipment on the warehouse floor to protect themselves from severe injuries. But employers also need to conduct routine inspections and implement safety practices to ensure no one gets hurt while on the job.
If you are injured due to faulty machinery on the job, you need to seek medical attention immediately and then consider what your next course of action will be. You may need to file a workers’ compensation claim to cover lost income and medical expenses.