Warehouses Handle Storage and Movement Of Goods, Involving Tasks Like Loading And Inventory Maintenance That Require Physical Effort, Which Can Lead to Severe Injuries in NJ

A Deeper Look at Warehouse & Factory Accidents in Trenton NJ

Warehouses and factories keep goods moving in the marketplace. Warehouses receive, store, and distribute items. Warehouse workers typically load and unload trucks, drive forklifts, and pack goods to ship. Thus, a warehouse worker spends their days searching through stock, packing shipments, verifying orders, replenishing inventory, training workers, and keeping the environment safe and clean. The work is physical and requires heavy lifting.

On the other hand, factory work is less diverse since manufacturing is primarily what it involves, requiring assembly line specialization. Some workers operate machines, others assemble goods, and others control quality. Training is essential to keep employees skilled and ensure all lines operate. The work is also physically demanding, requiring long hours sitting or standing.

Transportation & Warehousing Leads to Work-Related Deaths in US

According to the National Safety Council, the total number of preventable deaths due to workplace injury is 3.2 per 100,000 workers nationally in 2022. The second largest number of avoidable deaths from injuries came in the transportation and warehousing industry sector, with 964 fatalities that year. Manufacturing saw 363 deaths. In New Jersey, the total work-related fatalities were 116 in 2022. Job-related deaths in transportation and warehousing rose from 24 to 28 in 2022, accounting for the industry with the highest number of deaths. Six out of the total number of deaths came from manufacturing. Overall, 69,000 nonfatal injuries occurred in the private sector workplace and 22,300 in the state and local employment sector.

Top Safety Concerns in Warehouses and Factories

Safety issues are at the root of most workplace accidents. In warehouses, you have water, oil, or other liquids that cause slips and falls or poor lighting, which makes the likelihood of a trip and fall even greater. Tripping over wires, cords, or litter on the ground can also lead to injuries. Other environmental hazards include rain, snow, or sleet, which create slipping hazards when left unclear or hazardous materials are not stored or used correctly. Repetitive stress injuries and overexertion injuries also afflict workers.

Inhaling toxic chemicals can lead to respiratory illnesses and lung damage. Other chemicals handled without proper safety equipment, such as gloves, may lead to burns or lesions. Slips and falls lead to broken bones and concussions, while repetitive movement for factory workers may lead to tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, requiring surgeries to relieve pain. When supervising personnel fail to ensure the safety of their subordinates, the culture of disregarding laws and rules results in tragic losses.

NJ Worker Actions and Warehouse Safety

Workers, too, may cause injuries, especially when not appropriately trained. Failing to handle machinery, forklifts, or stacked cargo safely can lead to lost limbs and life. Heavy stacks of goods can collapse and crush someone. State and federal regulations require proper training and adherence to safe practices, like inspecting machinery and equipment for safety features or limitations on the hours workers can spend on the job.

Amputations and Back Injuries Haunt Factory Workers

Factory workers also suffer amputated limbs, back injuries, sprains, strains, fractures, burns, and spinal cord, neck, and head trauma from some of the same causes of inadequate supervision and enforcement of safety procedures and rules. Machines with rolling gears and conveyor belts can catch an arm or finger of the fatigued factory worker who may lose a limb or need an amputation.

OSHA Efforts to Keep Workers Safe in Factories and Warehouses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, governs workplace safety. The governmental agency’s rules and regulations aim to prevent accidents by promoting safe and healthy workplaces. OSHA creates and enforces the standards warehouses and factories must maintain to ensure worker protection by providing education, training, outreach, and compliance assistance.

So, when employees suffer injuries or illness at work, OSHA regulations require employers to record and report them. Employers must promptly (within eight hours of death and 24 of an injury) report to OSHA any fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, illnesses, or lost eyes, limbs, or other body parts that occurred at the workplace. A worker may also report a workplace injury. From there, OSHA may inspect the workplace and investigate an injury if warranted. Depending on the outcome, the result may be a civil penalty of thousands of dollars. The agency has six months from the incident to cite the employer.

Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Claims for Warehouse and Factory Injuries in New Jersey

Accident in a Warehouse in Princeton NJ Need Lawyer

Employers pay workers’ compensation insurance to injured workers so that they can receive financial assistance to cover their losses from on-the-job injuries without proof of fault. Compensation includes medical treatment related to the workplace injury and rehabilitation costs. If someone is permanently disabled, workers’ compensation pays for permanent disability and vocational rehabilitation. It also pays partial wage losses for time off work.

However, workers’ compensation does not cover workplace injuries caused by someone outside the warehouse or factory, such as a supplier. Say, for example, a forklift supplier sold the factory defective forklifts that caused an injury. Workers compensation does not cover the accident. The worker may sue the third party for personal injuries and claim compensation for medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost income and benefits, pain and suffering, decreased quality of life, and emotional distress.

Contact our Trenton NJ Lawyers to Start Building Your Claim After a Warehouse or Factory Accident

A warehouse or factory worker who suffers an injury at work may need a workers’ compensation attorney, a personal injury attorney, or both, depending on the nature of the accident. In any event, preparing a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim takes time and patience to gather evidence to support it and legal know-how to navigate the insurance and legal systems.

At Cohen & Riechelson, our experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers know what it takes to successfully handle both types of claims for warehouse and factory employee injuries. We can take the burden off your shoulders so you can focus entirely on recovering from the accident and subsequent treatment, including surgery or numerous medical visits that you may need. Our attorneys can guide you through the process while ensuring you care for your priorities and health if you are injured at your job. You may need to submit to an evaluation by an insurance doctor and appear in court to pursue your claim. We are there every step of the way to protect you and promote your interests, ensuring you get total compensation for an accident at a warehouse or factory in Trenton, Monroe, Titusville, Lawrence, Ewing, Hopewell, and towns in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County, Camden County, and throughout New Jersey.

Loved ones of a deceased warehouse or factory worker may have a claim for wrongful death for an avoidable fatality but for negligent supervision or practices that made the workplace deadly. Evidence to prove negligence may be the employer ignoring OSHA regulations and poor workplace practices, but if you lost someone close to you in a factory or warehouse accident, you may have legal options at your fingertips. Talk to a workers’ comp and personal injury lawyer at Cohen & Riechelson regarding your potential claim for work injuries, a non-employee accident at a warehouse, or a loved one’s death resulting from factory negligence. You can reach us online or by dialing (609) 528-2596 for a cost-free case review.