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Reducing work injuries in warehouses

In Oklahoma and elsewhere in the U.S., warehouses and factories tend to have higher injury rates than other workplaces. OSHA has listed 10 of the most common risk factors in warehouses; they include forklifts, electrical wiring, improper lockout/tagout procedures, poor hazard communication and floor wall openings. Fires, explosions and exposure to harmful chemicals are also frequent causes of injury.

Employers know better than anyone else about the risks in their warehouses. Doing something about these hazards will require that employees be prioritized over making profits and even meeting deadlines. Employers should first of all provide adequate training on work procedures, machinery and safe conduct in the workplace.

As part of the training, management should discourage shortcuts and encourage following the instructions at all times. If the instructions are vague, employees should ask for clarification. The point is to make employees comfortable and familiar with the work.

They should also feel comfortable around their peers and co-workers. This means looking out for one another and correcting or reporting anyone who engages in unsafe behavior. To create a culture of accountability, the employer can reward those who report safety risks.

Lastly, employers should purchase machinery that both increases productivity and enhances safety. Lift assists and industrial manipulators, which quickly and safely move heavy materials, are known to reduce injuries.

Even when employers use the right machinery and set up training programs, accidents can still happen. Those who incur workplace injuries can consult with a lawyer about filing for workers' compensation. The benefits could cover things like medical expenses, including the cost of rehabilitative care, and both past and future lost wages. To file, it is not required to show that anyone was negligent.

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